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How Danone and L’Oréal are capturing more growth in APAC with e-commerce platforms


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

September 21, 2021 | 5 min read

As competition to vie for every consumer dollar intensifies, brands are searching for new customer management and retention tools to cultivate brand loyalty on e-commerce marketplaces. The Drum finds out from Danone and L’Oréal how they are approaching this.

As more consumers shop online, e-commerce platforms such as Singapore-based Shopee are increasingly becoming a key channel for brand-building in the entire customer journey.

To help brands capture more growth online, the platform launched the Shopee Mall Brand Memberships program in July this year.

Shopee hopes the program will help brands on Shopee Mall, its branded marketplace, to build deeper connections with potential and existing customers, converting them into valuable lifetime customers.

One brand that has signed up for the program is French food product giant Danone because of the ownership and autonomy it has over customer relationships with direct engagement.

“This initiative by Shopee gives us the ability to better understand new and existing customers on the platform, which will help us build stronger relationships with them in the long run. Having control over how we tailor our loyalty program also allows us to offer exclusive perks and provide a high degree of customized services to our loyal customers,” explains Deborah Chong, the head of e-commerce at Danone.

“This is aligned with our One Planet One Health vision, where our focus has been to reach more customers through initiatives targeted at their needs and encourage them to make healthier nutrition choices. We are very pleased with the performance so far in terms of new buyer sign-ups and order uplifts. We look forward to fostering deeper and more lasting relationships with our customers on Shopee in the long term.”

The Shopee Mall Brand Memberships program also allows Danone to capture more shoppers at every touchpoint while providing a seamless way to drive more conversion and repeat purchases from our customers online.

For example, Danone’s customized membership program helps its members unlock exclusive members-only perks by accumulating and redeeming loyalty points on Shopee.

Chong claims that for the soft launch earlier this year, Danone was delighted to see an uplift on new and repeat buyers. It saw an average increase of 17% in the repeat purchase rate of members v non-members for its Specialized Nutrition brands in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“In addition to customer retention, the program also provides an effective way for Danone to identify and understand the purchasing habits and preferences of different customer segments,” says Chong.

“With the deeper insights that Shopee shares with us, we can create more personalized experiences over time and run more effective retargeting campaigns in the future. This will help us drive new customer acquisition and drive higher average spend per shopper.”

Another brand that has joined the Shopee Mall Brand Memberships program is L’Oréal-owned IT Cosmetics, as it enables the brand to center its online business upon building relationships that go beyond transactions, says Michelle Chew, the brand general manager for the South Asia Pacific-Middle East-North Africa Zone at L’Oréal Luxe.

IT Cosmetics claims it has since observed an uplift of 2.4 times in the repeat purchase rate of members v non-members.

“At L’Oréal, we always believe in the power of having a robust customer relationship management program. Customer engagement is a key essence of luxury beauty, so we are also very excited to offer the IT Cosmetics ‘Love It Rewards’ loyalty program to all Shopee users,” explains Chew.

“Shopee has offered this wonderful feature for brands to pamper our customers with loyalty privileges. IT Cosmetics members can enjoy exclusive perks such as welcome gifts, birthday gifts and the option to earn and redeem points for purchases.”

Aside from making more purchases online, consumers are also researching new products and seeking out inspiration that they once might have found in-store, allowing brands to step up and guide them through their entire shopping journey.

Danone is working with Shopee on some initiatives around this area to reach its customers efficiently and effectively understand what their needs are as it wants to move toward ‘Pull Marketing’ by listening to what its customers want. For example, it looks at customer ratings and reviews as a form of feedback.

“We also conduct surveys to better understand what type of content they find meaningful in helping them make better purchasing decisions. The types of content can range from child development information and company brand and product info to health and medical information,” explains Chong.

“We understand that customers are not only interested in the products, but they are also keen to find out more about the company and the history of these flagship brands.”

For L'Oréal, it believes in offering its customers the same high level of service whether shopping online or in-store, says Chew. Therefore, the official IT Cosmetics store on Shopee showcases rich content that helps provide customers information in aiding their purchasing decisions.

“IT Cosmetics allows customers to have a ‘virtual try-on’ function to guide customers in selecting the right shade for their foundation. In addition, dedicated e-beauty advisors are available on chat to advise customers’ specific concerns,” she adds.

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