One such mark is L ’ Oréal, whose ecommerce business now represents 25 percentage of company revenues—up from good two percentage in 2014. We spoke with Chief Digital Officer Lubomira Rochet about the strategy behind the company ’ s late investment in social sell platform Replika Software, how the shop know in the beauty industry is reinventing itself and what digital patronize trends marketers should be keeping an eye on in the come year .
Chief Marketer: Tell me about the decision to invest in Replika Software. What’s the strategy behind it?
Lubomira Rochet : It ’ s not our first. The boastfully go was to acquire a company called Modiface two years ago. Modiface is an augmented world and artificial intelligence beauty company. For us, it ’ sulfur about building an ecosystem of digital and technical school invention to make sure that we are connected to the best entrepreneurs out there and that we can use those capabilities to accelerate our digital transformation. Modiface was about augment world. Replika is an investment. And Replika is all about social commerce. We see that as a very big tendency and we want to scale it for our brands in all our countries.
CM: Do you use the platform right now? Will there be a rollout to various brands?
LR: We do use the platform. It ’ s used in Europe for immediately, for brands like Lancome and our professional brands, then L ’ Oréal Professionnel or Kerastase… It ’ s an interesting platform for us to accelerate and scale social commerce. We have plans to accelerate the deployment of Replika with our brands and to more countries. It will take place future class. And we are very ambitious about it .
CM: How is this particular platform different from the other ecommerce platforms you use?
LR: It ’ s completely different. It ’ randomness about social commerce, so think of stylists or hairdressers, think of influencers, think smasher advisors… It ’ mho about empowering that ecosystem of people already working with, loving and knowing our brands to become flush more powerful advocates and social sellers of those brands online on platforms like Instagram or Facebook or WhatsApp. We see more and more of those platforms embracing department of commerce as a next pace in their journey. It ’ second empowering them to have the right content for our brands, the right assets to put on live-streaming, on Instagram, so that they can become the best sellers of our brands online .
CM: Ecommerce currently represents 25 percent of L’Oréal revenues. What do you want that number to get to? What is your goal?
LR: We came from two percentage in 2014, indeed in less than seven years we moved from two to 25 percentage. The idea is not to have a goal, but to be consumer-centric, and peculiarly follow consumers where they are. Of run, COVID has accelerated this. More and more, consumers are enjoying the on-line shopping have, because it ’ s more commodious, you have more choice, you have capital services and you have great content. The on-line shopping experience is reinventing itself. And it has brought new consumers, new demographics. We believe that what happened during COVID, the amazing acceleration of ecommerce, is not a bubble and is here to stay .
Ecommerce will continue to grow. We see a moment when 50 percentage of our sales will be on-line. Is it in three, four, five, 10 years ? We don ’ thymine know, but we know that this consequence will happen. To prepare ourselves for that, we invest in people with capabilities, in technologies such as Replika, so that we are ready .
CM: Is this part of a larger plan of investments or acquisitions?
LR: It is on an ad hoc basis, so we ’ ll see what comes to us. We have a integrated ecosystem of what we call “ capable innovation. ” It ’ s a direction to be connected to VCs, to accelerators or incubators, in the U.S., in Europe, in Asia. We have an investment fund, BOLD, at L ’ Oréal. indeed, we structured the capacitance to, one, get connected to the ecosystem and [ identify ] the correct engineering for us, and two, have the financing weapon with BOLD. It ’ s not the last move we ’ ll make. We ’ ll continue to invest in this digi-tech ecosystem invention for our brands and our consumers.
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CM: How did the pandemic accelerate your ecommerce business?
LR: We recorded increase above 60 percentage this year. It ’ s not the end of the class, so we ’ ll see where it ends, but at the end of September we were above 60 percentage. Ecommerce was 24 percentage, about one stern of the sales. People got used to—especially during the COVID period—buying on-line. Our mission is besides to continue to invest and work with our partners, like Amazon, Macy ’ second, Sephora and Target, to continue to invest, to improve and elevate the have everywhere where consumers shop .
This is why we have decided to open informant our services. indeed, things like virtual constitution try-ons or hair discolor try-ons… Our plan is to make those great services with the technology available to our retailers therefore that we can [ enhance ] the beauty class together on-line. I ’ ve never seen resistance between brick and mortar and the on-line world. For me, what was identical outstanding during COVID was the acceleration of traditional brick and mortar embracing digital transition and digital transformation… We saw triple digit emergence coming from Target and from Walmart, and from european distributors. That ’ s a open sign of the times and that ’ s not something that ’ s going to stop. We are entering into this omnichannel on-line and offline world, where our traditional partners are going on-line. We are there to work with them, to spouse with them, and it creates fresh opportunities and newly experiences for consumers .
CM: Shifting gears a bit… what do you see as the biggest digital trends coming online for 2021 that would be of interest to marketers?
LR: Continuing with ecommerce, we are going to see a dispatch reinvention of the shopping experience. If you think about it, the ecommerce experience has not changed dramatically for the by 10 years. It ’ mho having those beautiful product pages—the product and some content—and that ’ s great, but people expect to have more services, more content, more of an know. It ’ randomness moving from convenience to experience—providing better services for enriching the shop have, providing more contented, providing more entertainment. The wholly entertainment/retail/retailtainment tendency is starting to be interesting. It ’ s like QVC on steroids, with advanced digital engineering with synergistic comments popping up. This is coming to Instagram, to Facebook, to all the platforms. It ’ s a reinvention of the shop experience at the overlap of entertainment, gambling and services. It ’ s a great way to continue to improve the shop feel everywhere .
What we besides see is the rebel of conversations. People have started to communicate through tons of channels. It could be by e-mail, by WhatsApp, Messenger, it could be leaving a gloss on Instagram. We ’ ve had 40 percentage more of those conversations during COVID. That translates to the appetite for consumers to directly connect to us, to our brands, to our experts. And this is something that for me is moving from marketing that was very visual—especially in beauty—to becoming more and more colloquial commercialize whereby we have to completely reinvent our consumer care services, our community management, to be able to satisfy this appetite for conversations from our consumers. We see reasonably siloed teams—consumer care, community management, retail—converging together, embracing the consumer on-line and offline and creating consumer engagement and activation .
CM: How are you specifically integrating technology into the consumer experience?
LR: The whole notion of merchandise plus services is becoming a big course. Every erect has its own way of building and strategizing for its services. For us, it has been around augmented world and the diagnostic and virtual fitting. Why does it matter ? not because of the engineering ; it ’ sulfur not because AR is cool. It ’ sulfur because it ’ sulfur solving a trouble. It ’ second solving the problem of choice. In beauty, you have massive choice. You are in presence of thousands of colors for your lipstick or your hair semblance. With augmented world, you can try different colors on your smartphone and see what ’ second best for you. possibly have entree to a virtual reference with a beauty adviser or beauty adept. then it creates this hale notion of “ steer me through the choice I have. ”
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In the category of skin care, for example, we ’ ve built this amazing skin care diagnostic called Skin Doctor. The idea is to evaluate 17 signs of skin concerns. It can be wrinkles, it can be pores, pigmentation, hydration… then you get a grudge that highlights the areas for improvement and a individualized everyday based on your skin refer. This is being uploaded by consumers because it helps them choose the mighty product and the right routine .
CM: How do you suggest that marketers stay on top of digital trends in the coming year? Do you have any advice for them?
LR: My advice would be to be on the platforms. That ’ second basic and obvious, but there are thus many marketers that are not in full on the platforms, understanding reverse engineer, how it works, the algorithm… It ’ s a lot of trial—and if you ’ ra not there, if you don ’ metric ton experiment with the platforms every sidereal day, it ’ second hard to get to playbooks and rules and be able to inspire your whole marketing constitution around what the raw playbooks for content are. That ’ mho very big. I apply that advice to myself every day .