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L’Oréal identifies eCommerce as critical to its digital revolution

By Andrew McDougall , 21-Feb-2012
Last updated on 21-Feb-2012 at 11:40 GMT

French cosmetics maker L’Oréal has singled out online selling as a key area for growth in 2012 following a boost in internet business in the last year.

Nivea brand owner Beiersdorf and consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble have both announced their intentions to take advantage of eCommerce opportunites, and L’Oréal managing director of Strategic Marketing, Marc Menesguen, believes it is a vital part of the firm’s ‘digital revolution’.

“For the Group as a whole, e-commerce grew over 35 per cent in 2011. Online selling is a new distribution channel and an additional opportunity for growth,” he said.

On the rise

The cosmetic giant’s Luxury Division saw its online sales grow strongly in 2011, up 42 per cent, whilst its Kiehl’s brand saw a rapid rise in sales following the re-launch of its eCommerce site in 2011.

“Kiehl’s is a perfect example of a multichannel strategy offering a totally consistent customer experience in terms of atmosphere and service both in its e-commerce site and its stores and counters,” said Menesguen.

“The aim being to improve customer satisfaction wherever they wish to purchase the brands’ products. eCommerce accounts 9 per cent of total sales of Kiehl’s and grew by a further 54 per cent in 2011.”

The rise of online purchasing by mobile phones, or mCommerce, has also been highlighted by L’Oréal.

Keeping with convenience

Its Lancôme Japon is a brand paving the way in this field, with mobile sales accounting for over 20 per cent of the brand’s online total.

“Another great breakthrough; Body Shop saw its sales grow by 51 per cent online boosting the brand’s growth thanks to a strong fit between the offline and online experience both on the website and the brand’s Facebook pages, which speeded up recruitment of new customers,” added the marketing chief.

Sean Wilkins, International Development director of Brandbank, a company that specialises in eCommerce and brand distribution, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com that the rise of eCommerce is an emerging trend in Europe and has quickly become an area which cosmetics companies are looking to capitalise on.

“Every major cosmetics company in Europe is hurrying to address the reality of the multichannel consumer – the consumer who likes to shop both in store and online, depending on whichever channel happens to be more convenient,” he said.

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