L’Oréal moves into the online space
26 June 2012
Global cosmetics and beauty company L’Oréal is due to start selling its products online through its own website in France next year, as it looks to experiment with new distribution channels.
The move from L’Oréal follows in the footsteps of fellow consumer goods manufacturers Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser, who are among many brands dabbling in social media as a platform to sell products.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be Amazon, online Carrefour or online your own site, or a combination of all three,” L’Oréal Consumer Products president Jean-Jacques Lebel told the Financial Times. “At the end of the day, you don’t want a system whereby you create such pricing havoc that everyone is unhappy.”
Online shopping has been the focus of much research lately and is on a rapid rise. According to data from Comscore, retail e-commerce in the US along increased 17% over the past year to reach $44.3bn in the first quarter of 2012.
L’Oréal’s latest experiment in the online space in France follows a recent trial carried out by the company in China. The brand currently sells its licensed Agnès b cosmetics through Club des Créateurs de Beauté mainly in France and Japan.
L’Oréal Consumer Products does not currently sell its products online in the US, except for its luxury product division and Kerastase haircare range, which have an online presence.
“Nothing replaces the stores in our categories,” adds Lebel. “I don’t think there’s a model that says you do it all online, not for our types of products. You have to be the physically on shelves to create relationships with customers.”
Jenni Baker, London