#DF19: L’Oréal on putting customers at the centre of beauty

L’Oreal has started to see the benefits of a decade-long digital transformation project.

The global beauty company announced its half-year results for 2019 and reported a 48.5% jump in global eCommerce revenue, which represents more than 13% of the group’s total sales.  

Michael Kingston, CIO of L’Oréal Americas, took to the stage at Dreamforce 2019 in San Francisco this week and described how the manufacturer now has a unified view of its customers online after rolling out a suite of cloud-based tools from Salesforce – including Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud.

“Year after year, we have continued to grow our partnership with Salesforce because the platform allows us to move fast, innovate constantly and reach consumers across different points of engagement,” said Kingston. “Whether it’s in store or online, it’s all about using technology to create a consistent shopping journey and deliver personalised beauty experiences at scale.”  

Despite the company being over a century old, Kingston believes L’Oreal is “just getting started” with its ambitions to continue inventing excellent products and experiences. “By leveraging our culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, in many ways we’re a young company.”

“Our primary purpose is to provide the best beauty experience possible,” he added. “And that’s what [data] insights allow us to do.”

The company has over 35 different brands, which he said are all “part of the L’Oreal family”, but have their own individual expression and are given freedom to create and innovate depending on the character of the brand. Kingston said he leads a flexible IT architecture, which allows brands to test different technologies and learn from pilots so, if successful, the project can be scaled quickly to other brands in the family.

One example is beauty brand Kiehl’s which is using the CMS page designer within Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This tool allows allows the eCommerce team to simply drag and drop features – such as an AI-powered recommendation engine – onto the website, without needing to contact developers, content creators or merchandisers.

Kiehl’s is also using Salesforce’s new Order Management solution, which centralises information about a customer’s order in one place, providing call centre agents all the information they may need about past and present orders.