The power of digital: L’Oréal is ramping up its presence in social networks

L’Oréal eyes digital media to connect closer to consumers

Speaking on a conference call regarding L’Oreal Group’s fourth quarter results, managing director of Strategic Marketing Marc Menesguen announced that based on positive results in 2011, the company will look to invest further in digital media.

Beauty is one of the most discussed topics on social networks as shown by a survey of 25,000 women conducted by the Forrester Institute in the US, which has it topping the list. In addition, one in three skin care purchases in the US are preceded by a search for information on the Web, with over 400 million beauty related searches performed on Google each month.

“This affinity is a great opportunity for our brands to develop a new closer relationship with consumers the world. In 2011, we strongly increased our investment in digital media by 45 per cent,” explained Marc Menesguen.

“Digital changes everything, particularly in the field of beauty. The digital revolution as Marc’s shown changes the relationship with the consumer interaction both in style and substance and it’s key for L’Oréal to be a leader in this revolution,” added L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon.

Secondary of the digital revolution is the rise of e-commerce. For the L’Oréal  Group as a whole, e-commerce grew over 35% in 2011. Online selling is a new distribution channel and an additional opportunity for growth. Two of the Group’s entities are paving the way, the Luxury Division and The Body Shop. The Luxury Division saw its online sales grow strongly in 2011, up 42%.

Worth highlighting in particular the rapid rise of Kiehl’s which re-launched its e-commerce site in 2011.

“We know that the next billion consumers to be won over will be young and digital native,” added the L’Oréal official.

The rise also of online purchasing by mobile phones or m-commerce should be noted. Lancôme Japon is a brand paving the way, mobile sales accounting for over 20% of the brand’s online total.

Another great breakthrough, Body Shop saw its sales grow by 51% 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.

Third and final facet of digital is the new service opportunities it brings. Advice and service are two key components in the beauty industry. Digital offers our brands a unique opportunity to stay in touch with their customers throughout the purchasing process and when they are using our products.

More on beauty:  seekingalpha | cosmeticsdesign-europe |