L’Oréal Engages Customers Through Apps
We saw lots of industries like hospitality, automotive, real estate, even alcohol producers implementing mobile strategies, so why should we be surprised that the beauty industry wants to use mobile apps to drive sales and engage clients in new ways?
Beauty business is not a poor industry at all, total sales in the beauty and personal care industry were roughly $426 billion in 2011. When looking at sales for January – March 2012, they were up 14% to $2,278,000,000, and for the top 100 companies in the cosmetic and personal care sectors, sales increased by 25.1% in 2011.
The industry is dominated by massive multinational corporations that in the past years have been acquiring smaller brands. Their strategy lies in offering a suite of products targeted at a wide range of clients, but also growing the global luxury sector, especially in China.
Let’s take a look at L’Oreal, a brand that tested the waters and started including mobile apps in their marketing strategy. They’ve launched a number of apps with different purposes.
The apps can be used to drive visitors to stores. INOA Colour Capture uses augmented reality and lets users gather virtual bubbles, being entered into a prizedraw to win Inoa color services, sample packs and even a year’s supply of L’Oréal Professionnel products. The app also uses geolocation to find nearby stores, let the bubble hunt begin! Get the app for iPhone or Android.
It can help clients make a decision. Another app L’Oréal launched is The Color Genius which basically lets you take a snapshot of your outfit, select the look (day or night) and then it presents you 3 options of combining your nail varnish, lip stick and eye shadow shades, depending on your mood (MATCH IT, BLEND IT or CLASH IT). You can also share it on Facebook and look for feedback from your friends. Get it for iPhone or Android.
They can also provide deep insights in product offering. Such an example is My L’Oréal Mirror for iPhone, which is a voice-activated beauty advisor on new looks, professional makeup tips, or the latest product promotions.
In addition to all these helpful features, beauty companies could also look at brands in other sectors that developed apps to drive revenue directly. Howard Schultz, president/CEO of Starbucks recently declared that the company generates 3 million mobile transactions a week in the US. Another example comes from Walgreens, through they mobile app they are allowing patients to order refills simply by scanning a prescription barcode with their smartphone, this feature now generates more than 40 percent of all Walgreens online refills.