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L’Oreal exec: Luxury consumers expect end-to-end personalization

October 17, 2012

Something's different about her

Something's different about her

NEW YORK – A L’Oreal executive at the Luxury Interactive 2012 conference said that personalization is the key component in driving that one-on-one experience.

During the “Focus on the Experience First – Personalizing the Luxury Experience” panel, executives discussed the role that personalization and relevance plays for brands and retailers. The session was moderated by Chris Olshan, chief marketing officer of The Luxury Marketing Council.

“We’re able to increase capabilities and add value-added responsibilities,” said Rachael Johnson, vice president of business intelligence at L’Oreal USA Luxe Division.

“We’re really trying to emulate that one-on-one experience as best as we can,” she said.

Seamless experience
It is critical that marketers roll out a seamless experience for consumers.

According to Ms. Johnson, it is imperative that its consumers are able to reach them whether by phone, email or live chat.

Additionally, the company continually looks at reviews and its social media sites to better understand its consumers, as well as see where they might be falling short and how they can better help the consumer throughout their path to purchase.

In addition to social, L’Oreal has also vowed to take a mobile-first approach.

“We’re trying to evolve into a responsive design approach,” Ms. Johnson said. “It’s about starting with mobile-first and then whatever the next screen size is, we’re optimizing for it.”

Mobile is playing a significant role for many luxury marketers.

The luxury space, in particular, is seeing a high penetration of tablet use.

“We’re trying to transition as many of the functional enhancements we’ve made on our Web sites to mobile,” said Michael Burgess, president of Saks Fifth Avenue Direct.

“We’re trying to invest in mobile and get that conversion rate up because it’s different from a smartphone and PC.,” he said. “We also want to make it simpler to checkout and shop internationally.

“Everything has to be simple on mobile to streamline that experience.”

L'Oreal panel participants

L'Oreal panel participants

Top service
It is important that luxury marketers create a great experience for consumers and that is where personalization and relevance come in.

If marketers take a look at consumer data, they are able to see past purchase behavior and shopping habits. This helps companies better connect with consumers and offer them more of a seamless shopping experience.

For example, if a consumer recently bought a blouse, the next time she visits a brand’s Web site, she should get a recommendation for a pair of slacks that will go perfectly with the top.

By offering a shopping experience such as that, consumers will be more inclined to go back to the retailer’s Web site. At the same time, this helps build loyalty.

“Sites that lead personalization like Netflix and Amazon aren’t so pretty,” said Marko Bon, global director for user experience at Brooks Brothers. “I think one of the struggles and challenges for luxury brands is to come up with solutions in order to be able to service and customize messages for consumers.

“I don’t see any reason why two men shopping for pants should see the same products if we already know about their browsing patterns,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York 

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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