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L’Oreal drives in-store makeup sales via mobile app

February 13, 2012

The L'Oreal True Match iPhone app

L’Oreal is using a mobile app to let users find the nearest location and pick up their perfect makeup product.

L’Oreal’s True Match app is available for iPhone devices and takes users through a series of questions to find their makeup shade. Once consumers have found their ideal shade, the app finds the nearest location for users to find the products.

“Location and accessibility are very important for a brand such as L’Oreal,” said Rick Singer, CEO of, New York.

“Especially with makeup and cosmetics, consumers do not want to drive 20 minutes to buy their favorite product,” he said.

“L’Oreal has done a wonderful job making sure their products are easily accessible with many merchants both large and small.”

Mr. Singer is not affiliated with L’Oreal. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

L’Oreal did not respond to press inquiries.

Virtual makeup
The L’Oreal app promotes the cosmetic brand’s line of True Match foundations.

When users open the app, they can take a survey to find their ideal shade of makeup.

The survey asks users about their skin tone, hair color and which shades look best on them.

Here is an example of a survey question

The app then determines the perfect shade of foundation for consumers.

Additionally, to find the product in-store, users can either type in their ZIP code or use the device’s GPS to find the nearest location.

After finding a consumer’s perfect shade, the app recommends similar products, including concealer and blush.

Consumers can also share content with friends and family via Facebook and email.

Users can tap to find more about the related products via L’Oreal’s mobile site.

In addition, the app helps L’Oreal build its email and SMS databases by letting consumers sign up for L’Oreal’s email and text alert programs.

Mobile message
To spread the word about the app, L’Oreal is using mobile advertising and magazine ads.

Mobile ads for the campaign read, “Download the app to find your match” and are running inside apps including the Pandora iPhone app and the TV Guide app.

The L’Oreal magazine ads

Users are then taken to a landing page inside the ad where they can download the app.

The magazine ads are double-page spreads that promote the True Match products with a call-to-action to download the app. The magazine ad is featured in Marie Claire magazine.

Although the L’Oreal app is promoted in the magazine ads, there is not a direct way for consumers to download the app. Instead, the brand could have used a mobile bar code to let users directly download the app from the static magazine page.

With location, email, social media and mobile Web, the L’Oreal app combines multiple digital initiatives from the company in one place.

Getting an app discovered can be challenging but by promoting it via print and mobile advertising, L’Oreal is able to spread awareness of the app across multiple channels.

“Having an app is a cost-effective marketing vehicle to keep in touch with existing customers and attract new customers,” Mr. Singer said.

“Now we are seeing consumers looking in app stores for brands that they use to see if they do have an app,” he said.

“Larger companies already allocate a certain amount of dollars for marketing every year, and since they are already spending the money on television commercials and print, they could easily reference or mention their app.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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