Beauty industry digital transformation with L’Oréal

Chris Baldwin

Jun 23, 2021

Beauty industry digital transformation with L’Oréal Featured Image
Chris Baldwin

Jun 23, 2021

INSIDER: Tell me about your experience at L’Oréal. What are you responsible for?

Guilhem: I’ve been with L’Oréal for seven years. Two-and-a-half years ago, I moved to NYX, a professional makeup brand L’Oréal purchased in 2015. NYX is sold in its own stores in France and online and is available on Amazon and through partnerships with external retailers. 

INSIDER: So I’m Philippe, I’m leading the business for Southern Europe for Insider. We’re thrilled to have NYX as a customer.  The first thing I’d like to talk to you about is mobile. In the past, people have claimed mobile conversions are low. What are your thoughts?

Guilhem: A lot of our customers are under 25, so they were among the first users of mobile phones to purchase online. About 80% of our traffic comes from mobile.

When Google and other search engines started to include mobile in their index session criteria, we knew we had to reduce our website’s login times. Since we are in the beauty market, we have a lot of visuals that heavily impact load speed. Our new mobile-first, responsive website reduced our log-in time. We also saw an increase in our conversion rate. 

Image showing Guilhem Cussonet's quote.

INSIDER : Do you think mobile is a key channel because your users are young?

Guilhem: Digital natives were the first to adopt mobile. Once they’re in, the rest will follow and accelerate this trend. I think it also depends on the capacity of retailers to offer a great omnichannel experience on mobile.

When you’re used to testing on desktop, you’re only seeing about 20% of what your customers are seeing; it’s important to test and optimize on mobile. 

INSIDER : Can you tell me more about NYX’s services?

Guilhem: Services are as important as our product. In 2015, L’Oréal purchased Modiface, a Canadian company that specializes in AR. It was the first acquisition made outside of our market, and it was L’Oréal’s first tech acquisition.

Testers are huge for the beauty industry. People who go to stores want to see how a lipstick or a foundation will look before buying them. But it’s really difficult to create that tactile, in-person experience online. 

INSIDER : So do you want to replicate in-store experiences online? 

Guilhem: We want to offer our customers a service that will enable them to test our products. Our new website lets you go to any product page and try on our product using your smartphone’s camera. We’re seeing three times more conversions compared to people who don’t use this service.

We had to remove our testers due to COVID health guidelines. We brought our AR tech into physical stores. The way it works is, a shopper can scan a product in-store and virtually try it on with their smartphone. We’re maintaining this service even when we bring back traditional testers to our brick and mortar stores.

INSIDER : What kind of other services do you provide?

Guilhem: We launched a teleconsultation service. All our stores were closed in France as a result of the COVID crisis.

A shopper logs into our site clicks on the teleconsultation button and you’re directly connected to one of our beauty advisors (BAs). You can chat with your phone, and Modiface’s integration allows the BA to apply the product on you as if you’re in the store, and you can see what it looks like in real time. We’ve seen really good conversion as a result of personalized services and our BA’s expertise. 

We had to move fast to offer the omnichannel shopping experience to our customers.

People used to say that they were thinking about moving digital, but they’re not thinking anymore. They really want to move forward and they should.

INSIDER: The second thing is, if they want to move ahead with their omnichannel experience strategy, they want to move really fast.

Guilhem: Digital is a no-brainer for us. Since 2010, digital has been at the core of L’Oréal’s strategy. When you move on digital, you have to move really fast because things are always changing, you have new actors that pop up every month. You really have to be agile and fast in terms of the deployment of new tools, new services, and new products. 

Image showing Guilhem Cussonet's quote 2.

INSIDER: Can you tell me about the omnichannel side of things? 

Guilhem: We have both offline and online channels. We don’t see them as separate channels.

For a long time, offline and online were managed by different teams. 

We think about how offline and online channels complement each other because a lot of customers will do product research offline and buy in store.

Others will test the product in store and purchase it online because of the convenience of buying at any time.  Our top priority is creating a synced omnichannel experience. We’re focusing on converting people exclusively offline into our physical stores, so they can enjoy the in-store experience. 

INSIDER: In terms of new services are there new kinds of innovations or services you’ll launch next? 

Guilhem: We have a services roadmap that’s ongoing and we’re not going to stop here, we’re currently working on a service that will be enjoyable for our customers to avoid waiting times in stores, which will be useful during Black Friday and the peak holiday rush. We’ll be focused on artificial intelligence and omnichannel digital experience.

INSIDER: Are these services and experiences only focused on your brand (NYX), or L’Oréal as an organization? 

Guilhem: Virtual try-on is widespread technology deployed across the L’Oréal Group. We have this for our makeup and hair color products. You can make sure the hair color you’re about to buy is right for you. We also have this with our luxury brand with premium service, which is our main competitive advantage in the digital world. 

INSIDER: Can you recognize if a user is omnichannel? What are you doing to know that? 

Guilhem: When people go into an NYX store, they can create an account with their name and email address. When they shop online, they can create an account or submit their email when they make a purchase.

We can build an omnichannel profile that reconciles the purchases made online and offline. It’s a Data Management Platform (DMP). 

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Chris is an award-winning marketing leader with more than 12 years experience in the marketing and customer experience space. As VP of Marketing, Brand and Communications, Chris is responsible for Insider's brand strategy, and overseeing the global marketing team. Fun fact: Chris recently attended a clay-making workshop to make his own coffee cup…let's just say that he shouldn't give up the day job just yet.