Delivering Unprecedented Personalized and Interactive Customer Experiences

2014 Customer Champion Annamarie Bermundo, AVP, CRM & digital platform development at L'Oreal Paris USA, offers customers interactive platforms that enables individuals to experience the brand before completing the sale, improving both loyalty and trust.
Customer Experience

Though not all brands can engage with consumers at the point of purchase, digital tools now allow many companies to introduce an added layer of personalization once absent from the average retail experience. Annamarie Bermundo, assistant vice president of CRM and digital platform development at L'Oreal Paris USA, works tirelessly to carry out this very vision, delivering unprecedented personalization and relevancy to boost engagement no matter where the customer may be.

Because retail stores lack the beauty advisors of department store brands, Bermundo sought to move the company away from mass brand advertising and develop its customer-centric marketing across email, mobile, social, and online display advertising. Now, L'Oreal customers can interact with the brand online and via mobile devices to find and test products at home or in-store. Bermundo and her team recognized that consumers typically conduct research before completing their purchases. Thus, by creating accessible, responsive programs and personalization tools, customers can carry their very own beauty advisor in their pocket wherever they go.

On average, most women have unused beauty products lying about because they fail to realize the given item isn't appropriate until after they've completed their purchase. Bermundo, however, found a way to leverage digital technology, enabling the brand to guide, educate, and inspire customers before, during, and after their in-store experience. Customers can consult L'Oreal's website or myriad mobile applications to learn about products, read tutorials, and use virtual reality to test hair and makeup colors.

"When we built all of our tools, such as our consultation tool, and laid out all our content and advice, we consulted a lot of our experts to make sure that, even if consumers didn't have a beauty advisor in front of them, they were getting information that was professional and expert recommended," Bermundo highlights. "For instance, we recently launched our Makeup Genius app, which allows consumers to try on cosmetics virtually. This is really helpful because in-store we often don't have testers, so consumers can easily scan the product and try it on themselves. In addition, we offer real-time personalization, so as you interact on the site-as we learn more about you-the program adapts on the fly."

While the Makeup Genius serves as a sort of virtual mirror, allowing customers to see how various shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, and foundation, the Color and Hair Genius apps offer similar services, as customers can use their mobile devices to find colors to match their clothes, their next hair color, or makeup products to achieve certain looks. L'Oreal's website also provides customers with fresh ways to interact with products and consume beauty and skincare tips. Users need only register on-site to turn this online destination into a dynamic service that adapts and evolves based upon preferences and prior searches. Recommendations and content are tailored to deliver personalization in real time, as every aspect of the experience was designed to shift alongside the individual's current interests. Thus, customers receive the most relevant content and advice for them, thereby building customer confidence and boosting brand engagement and loyalty to cultivate trust.

Bermundo's efforts have seen significant results, as site visits have increased 81 percent and satisfaction has grown by 22 percent. Seventy-six percent more visitors have also used and completed consultations, leading said individuals to add 170 percent more products to their carts.

Under Bermundo's direction, L'Oreal also launched its 'Women of Worth' initiative. This awards program recognizes 10 women each year for their extraordinary efforts within their communities. The program ties back to the brand's slogan-because you're worth it-as it highlights inner beauty and allows these women to share their strength and expertise. 'Women of Worth' moves beyond the product, yet speaks to the company's core values, empowering women to look and feel their best so they may carry their confidence proudly.