L’Oréal supercharges ecommerce with digital tech

L’Oréal’s online sales soared during the pandemic, thanks to the promotional power of augmented reality technology, live-streaming services, and cloud software.

L’Oréal supercharges ecommerce with digital tech
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L’Oréal weathered the COVID-19 pandemic well in 2020, boasting a 62% lift in ecommerce revenue year-over-year as people purchased more cosmetics and beauty products online amid retail store closings. There is plenty of credit to pass around, but major credit goes to cloud software along with augmented reality (AR) and live-streaming technologies to better promote products, according to Michael Kingston, CIO of L’Oréal Americas Zone.

“When the pandemic hit and overnight it seemed that all of the physical consumer experiences were closing down — including stores and salons — we had to enable all of our services and assets for consumer engagement digitally,” Kingston tells CIO.com. “It put a lot of pressure on our infrastructure to support the big shift in demand.”

To be sure, the pandemic offered a major test for companies. Those that sailed through the gauntlet — which included upended supply chains — accelerated the digitization of their internal and customer-facing operations by three to four years, according to a survey of 900 C-level executives and senior managers McKinsey took last July.

The consultancy says that 65% of executives polled are earmarking more dollars for cloud software, analytics, cybersecurity, among other technologies, with companies that have already upgraded their technology stacks putting themselves in solid position to win more business.

And so it is with L’Oréal, which had embarked on a journey to jettison legacy systems in favor of modern technology architectures and agile development even before Kingston assumed the helm in 2017. Such investments smoothed the way for Kingston to enable associates to conduct consumer care from home. “We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve been tackling digital transformation for a decade.”

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