Luxury brands are often singled out as slow adopters when it comes to digital, primarily because there’s still reluctance from consumers to buy high-ticket items online. However, marketers for L’Oreal-owned Lancôme offered data results to Adweek that suggest that it would behoove marketers in this category to focus more on cross-channel shopping to build loyalty programs instead of worrying only about e-commerce.
Lancôme rolled out its Elite Rewards loyalty program on April 1, which is powered by CrowdTwist. The initiative builds on an existent CRM and loyalty program that the brand already had in place for its e-commerce site—now it's been expanded with social media, in-store and mobile components. Since debuting the program, 60 percent of members are completing one action (such as shopping or connecting with the brand via social media) per month. The percentage of monthly sign-ups has grown by more than 40 percent, too.
The beauty brand specifically wants to home in on connecting social media activity to a bigger loyalty push. For example, members receive 25 points for connecting their account to Lancôme’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare accounts.
Elite Rewards members receive 10 points for each dollar that they spend online and can unlock smaller rewards from watching branded videos or opting into email and direct mail programs.
Online-savvy beauty buyers are notorious for posting tons of reviews, which Lancôme hopes to capitalize on in the next round of additions to the program. "Going forward—it’s not in place right now—we want to reward customers who are writing reviews on our products as well," explained Sarika Rastogi, assistant vice president of CRM and loyalty at Lancôme. "The more that they’re engaging with the program outside of purchases, we want to reward them for all that behavior."
Members are also able to claim points by purchasing items in-store, giving the brand a better idea of which products consumers are more apt to buy. These data also help Lancôme understand what people are buying because the brand doesn’t have brick-and-mortar stores and relies on third-party retailers like Sephora to distribute products. According to Lancôme, Elite Rewards members spend 6 percent more per transaction versus shoppers who are not members.
"If you look at the macro-level trend, you have a brand in Lancôme and overarchingly in L'Oréal, [which] historically hasn’t really owned the direct relationship with their consumer," said Irving Fain, CEO of CrowdTwist. "In many ways, the direct contact with their brand has occurred through third-party retailers, and for the first time, social [and other types of digital are] opening the windows slightly for brands like Lancôme and any of the luxury brands, even beyond luxury to CPG, to start talking directly to a customer."