In the vast world of skincare and makeup, few brands have been innovating as long as Clarins. The manufacturer has been supplying consumers with an ever-growing array of beauty care products since 1954, and currently has 10,000 employees serving loyal buyers in 141 countries. It’s widely recognised as the number one high-end beauty company in Europe, with a new order for its best-selling anti-aging Double Serum placed every five seconds.
Such widespread success doesn’t come without its challenges, of course — especially when it comes to the many complexities of selling online.
In many ways, Clarins’ massive base of loyal customers and its expansive network of retailers is both inspiring and astounding. But while the brand’s widespread influence is nothing short of remarkable, Senior Digital Project Manager Léonore Manciaux says it can also cause complexities — particularly when it comes to the e-commerce side of the business.
From pricing and promotions to product assortment and customer reviews, she says, there’s a lot to monitor. And not just in a handful of markets, but across numerous channels spanning many different regions. According to Manciaux, the sheer volume of data that needs to be analysed can make it very difficult to maintain brand equity:
“The biggest challenge as a global digital manager is maintaining brand presence qualitatively at scale,” she says. “We have a very large volume of product pages across the world, and must ensure retailer product pages reflect our values.”
As the company expanded its online presence, Manciaux says it became increasingly difficult to monitor retailer pricing and stock levels, and to track product content across channels. “Those verifications were being handled by various teams across the organisation,” she says. “Most were being conducted manually, and not nearly as often as they should be. It was a very time-consuming process.”
After a while, Manciaux says it became clear that a different approach was needed. So her team set big goals for the brand with no time to lose. They searched for a solution that would assist Clarins as the brand sought to diversify its product range, solidify its global presence and continue to grow and expand.
Clarins ultimately turned to ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics. From the start, Manciaux says the e-commerce intelligence platform provided the vital insights her teams needed.
“We started by launching Brand Analytics’ core offerings with our local teams in France, the UK, the US and South Korea,” she says. “After collecting initial feedback from these teams, we decided to pitch the product to additional teams in other countries.”
Within a year, Clarins had expanded its initial contract to track more SKUs and make the platform available to employees in another 12 countries.
“We now use the Content Performance feature to keep a close eye on the quality of product pages at scale,” she explains. “And because the challenges differ from market to market, we’re able to leverage different functionalities of the platform to meet the unique needs of each team.”
In South Africa, Clarins leverages the weekly Brand Analytics report to examine prices and customer review scores for important products and retailers. Manciaux says this helps the team identify areas for improvement and take steps to resolve issues.
Meanwhile, in Ireland, specialists use the solution to monitor recurring stock issues within the local distribution network. According to Manciaux, this empowers the team with the information they need to address any recurring issues at the account level — whether that means increasing order sizes or better allocating inventory between in-store and online retailers.
In France, employees use the data to watch retailer compliance and performance, and to trigger new sales with out-of-stock information.
And in Russia, Manciaux credits the ability to monitor pricing levels with helping the team better understand market trends and plan promotions accordingly.
Each team has its own set of unique data needs, explains Manciaux, all of which are met in the same single analytics solution.
“It wouldn’t make sense to feature a 20% discount if a retailer is offering 25% at the same time,” she says. “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.”
Manciaux says ChannelAdvisor has helped optimise Clarins’ day-to-day operations in numerous ways, with multiple examples across the many regions the company serves.
“Before ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics, our Brazil team was manually monitoring 200 product pages every day — and still missed some stock issues,” she says. “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.”
Without ChannelAdvisor, Manciaux says the brand would be facing lost time and low sales — not to mention numerous difficulties in maintaining its image.
“In addition to all of the great features, we’ve benefited from incredible support for training and guidance,” she says. “In one particularly notable instance, the ChannelAdvisor team went above and beyond to collect feedback from our top users, and then share company-specific best practices across our entire organisation.”
When asked if she would recommend ChannelAdvisor to other brands, Manciaux didn’t hesitate to answer.
“ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics is a simple tool that’s easy to use, and it gets results fast.”