Clarins trials AI customer care bot

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags AI beauty tech personalised beauty digital skincare

Clara uses a mix of the brand's proprietary data, its pre-defined customer care questions and answers, its Clarins beauty coaches’ product training content, as well as content from its website
Clara uses a mix of the brand's proprietary data, its pre-defined customer care questions and answers, its Clarins beauty coaches’ product training content, as well as content from its website
The French heritage brand is the first prestige beauty company to do so and its CEO called it a "significant milestone".

The family-owned cosmetics company has launched a cutting-edge new customer-care bot on its US ecommerce site and is conducting tests on several variants of the bot before implementing it globally.

The bot, Clara, is powered by Microsoft secure and Enterprise-grade Azure OpenAI Service, and integrates natural language interactions, which Clarins said “ensures a much better understanding and resolution of customer requests.”

Clara uses a mix of the brand's proprietary data, its pre-defined customer care questions and answers, its Clarins beauty coaches’ product training content, as well as content from its website.

In recent years, Clarins has been trailblazing in its use of technology. Not only is it the first prestige beauty brand to implement an AI-powered bot for customer care, it also offers live consultations, beauty classrooms, live streaming, and uses a conversational bot as an alternative contact option. For example, to help customers receive immediate responses when the customer-care department is closed at night-time, and to optimise the availability of customer care agents in the daytime.

Corporate VP for data, AI and digital apps at Microsoft, Jessica Hawk commented: "Clarins is a leader in the beauty industry, and we're excited they are using Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to help reimagine what's possible with their customer care bot. This approach reflects Clarins' deep commitment to offering its customers an innovative, high-quality experience."

President of Microsoft France, Corine de Bilbao, shared that Clarins has been a longstanding Microsoft customer and said: “This French success story is a perfect illustration of Clarins' determination to remain at the forefront of innovation in the prestige beauty sector, by relying on our cutting-edge technological solutions."

AI bot a “significant milestone” for Clarins

Meanwhile Clarins CEO, Jonathan Zrihen, said the company was proud to introduce the “pioneering customer care bot and this was a “significant milestone” for Clarins for the business.

“Clara is designed not just to meet but exceed the sophisticated expectations of our customers by providing tailored, instantaneous responses at any time,” he continued.

“This innovation highlights our commitment to blending human expertise with state-of-the-art technology to enhance the beauty experience for every Clarins customer we serve."

“From field to skin” integrated approach towards NPD

The French cosmetics company has been in pioneering in other areas outside of technology too. In April, the business purchased​ a 115-hectare green space in the south of France where it plans to cultivate many of the plants used in its product formulations, for improved sustainability and traceability.

The move is part of Clarins Group's “from field to skin” integrated approach towards NPD, which will allow the beauty company to gain increased traceability of the raw materials used in its cosmetics. The brand said it planned to grow a third of its raw ingredients itself by 2030. 

The domaine, which is located near the city of Nimes, features 50 hectares of farmland that will become a production and processing site for plants, using regenerative agriculture methods. There will also be a laboratory that will study and research new plant species.

Clarin's Group MD Virginie Courtin called the move “a strategic advance towards an integrated, more vertical, ethical and sustainable supply” and said she believed that it will provide more “excellence, safety and traceability” for the brand’s customers.

In January, the business was part of a consortium of 15 different cosmetics companies that formed the TRASCE alliance​, to help enhance traceability in major ingredient and packaging supply chains across the global beauty and personal care industry.

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