L’Oreal: direct is beautiful

Beauty industry giant L’Oreal is realizing that instantaneous purchasing can make for pretty profits.

The longtime leader is planning on tagging all of its advertising, promotions or in-store materials to allow for instant e-commmerce purchases of the featured products, according to Ad Age.

L’Oreal made the announcement that it is partnering with PowaTag technology to “transform any consumer touch point, from print and TV advertising to e-commerce, retail stores and social media into a platform for mobile transactions, promotions and more on person’s smartphone.” PowaTag supplies 2-D barcodes for app scanning and direct ordering by consumers.

This is a first for beauty brands. The notoriously old-school industry had a skin-deep attitude toward direct practices for years, preferring counter engagement and reliance on coupons and traditional advertising over database/direct practices. Only recently has e-commerce become a channel for prestige brands, driven by progressive customer relationship management-based retailers such as Sephora and Ulta.

The L’Oreal-PowaTag partnership is intended to merge the online and offline worlds of it’s customers and make mobile shopping easier, according to L’Oreal.

We’ve often wondered why more beauty brands haven’t gotten here sooner. A trip to the beauty counter at any retailer involves databasing only for the retailer, not the brand (yup—that’s an issue), and typically results in annoying emails about makeovers from the beauty consultant—never any offer of real value. And the gap gets bigger when the retailer is a drug store.

Distribution models are usually the problem—another industry where this becomes an issue. Direct to the consumer e-tailing is helping to address this barrier.

Interesting to see who is next.

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Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn



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