Avon CEO underlines new digital approach

Avon CEO Jan Zijderveld described his company as “a high touch, high tech digital beauty company selling with a human touch” at an event in London on 21 March, as the door-to-door business continues to map out its change of direction.

Representatives from the organisation have been appearing at retail industry events around the globe recently to explain the digital transformation journey the company now finds itself on. It is supported by a whole new leadership team, as the business looks to take better advantage of new selling opportunities online and via social media.

Zijdeverveld’s appearance at the Changeboard Future Talent Conference 2019 saw him address 750 senior business leaders and HR directors about how Avon is transforming itself.

In an interview on stage with Scott Snyder, partner at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, the CEO described Avon as “the original social seller”, reflecting on the business’s history as a retailer whose staff built strong relationships with customers in their local areas.

“There is huge opportunity for us to leverage digital to help representatives build their business though a modern approach that provides more reward for their effort,” he noted.

“We are making strong progress. We have a brochure that can be distributed by WhatsApp or Facebook, that people can access whenever, wherever. It’s currently in 60 countries, and 10% of all brochure views are through the electronic version. We’re reaching a whole new generation of people.”

Zijdeverveld said the organisation is keen for its sellers to become beauty entrepreneurs – building on what they have been doing for years but now with a more digital focus.

He remarked: “Delivering on that purpose today demands transformation – across our supply chain, our communications, how we work, how we manage our brand, our product development, and how we support our millions of representatives around the world.”