How a 67-Year-Old Brand Is Overcoming E-Commerce Challenges with Brand Analytics

16 March, 2021

Brands By ChannelAdvisor

Imagine for a moment that your company is in the midst of some major changes. As a brand, you’re diversifying your product range, expanding to new online channels and taking steps to solidify your global presence.

It could be a recipe for overwhelm. After all, there would be a lot to monitor. And the sheer volume of data could make it easy to miss issues and overlook errors.

Yet when Clarins experienced this exact scenario, a much different outcome took shape. 

By the time all was said and done, the global brand was successfully managing sales across a wide range of markets and channels — right in the midst of all kinds of change.

So, how did they do it? 

If you’re looking for some inspiration to help guide your own e-commerce strategies, this is one success story you’ll want to read to the end.

Facing the E-Commerce Complexities of Global Expansion

Clarins has been providing consumers with highly popular product lines since 1954. It’s a household name in Europe and Asia, and is widely recognised as the number one high-end beauty brand in numerous countries.

Yet even in the midst of many successes, the 10,000-employee company says it faced new challenges in the era of accelerated e-commerce.

At a time when consumers were turning to online shopping channels more than ever before, Clarins’ e-commerce team realized the brand would need to find new ways to connect with customers. So they began to develop different strategies for increasing visibility on a global scale, with a focus on reaching wider audiences in North America.

Turns out, the process was no walk in the park.

“We have a very large volume of product pages across the world, and must ensure retailer product pages reflect our values,” Léonore Manciaux, senior digital project manager, explained during an interview with ChannelAdvisor.

Her team soon discovered just how much time it would take to monitor retailer pricing, keep tabs on stock levels, check product pages across retailers and more.

“Those verifications were being handled by various teams across the organization,” Manciaux said. “Most were being conducted manually, and not nearly as often as they should be.”

In other words: Maintaining a global presence was a very time-consuming process. From pricing and promotions to product assortment and customer reviews, there was a lot to monitor. 

It wasn’t long before Manciaux and her team set out to find a more efficient way to grow and expand — without sacrificing valuable time and resources. 

Discovering a Better Way to Stay Ahead of Trends

Shortly after setting out in search of a solution, Clarins discovered ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics — an advanced e-commerce intelligence platform designed to help multi-channel brands manage online distribution, grow sales and protect reputations.

That’s when things started to change. 

First, the brand launched the platform in a few test markets. “We started by launching Brand Analytics’ core offerings with our local teams” in a few test locations including the US, the UK and France, Manciaux explained. Then, after collecting feedback from those initial groups, the team decided to pitch the product to global teams in other markets.

The response was enthusiastic, to say the least. Within a year, Clarins had made the platform available to employees in another 12 countries.

Because the brand serves a diverse array of consumers in many different regions, Manciaux says the solution was exactly what each team needed to meet its own unique set of needs and expectations. Some teams used the data to understand market trends and plan promotions; others leaned on the platform to keep a close eye on customer review scores and retailer promotions.

“It wouldn’t make sense to feature a 20% discount if a retailer is offering 25% at the same time,” Manciaux said. “These are the kinds of issues ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics helps us avoid. It helps us understand the link between pricing, stock levels and retailer performance, which is very valuable as Clarins continues to grow.”

Looking Ahead to Future Growth 

Today, Clarins is growing globally and creating new connections with all kinds of consumers. Global teams are able to get accurate, up-to-date information on everything from stock issues to the quality of product pages. And they’re able to do it without losing valuable hours to manual monitoring.

“Before ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics, our Brazil team was manually monitoring 200 product pages every day — and still missed some stock issues,” Manciaux said. “Now, we can fix issues as they happen. And we have a wealth of data history that makes it easy to work with retailers on any recurring problems.”

Clarins’ story isn’t just inspiring. It also makes clear just how much opportunity is out there when you have the right strategies and solutions in place.

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