Consumers have embraced the digital world but are eager to return to some facets of the physical world when shopping.
According to a recent survey, 46% say they prefer in-store shopping, 30% say that they now pretty much want to buy everything online, and 25% are sitting somewhere in the middle.
Brands are trying to decode all this in real time because they need to meet consumer demands and deliver the right customer experience.
French cosmetics giant L'Oreal is facing an explosion of content needs due to ecommerce sophistication, according to Anne Guichard, the global head of digital for L'Oréal, on a panel at Sitecore Symposium 2022.
This diversification of new needs means longer having the luxury of big beautiful pictures at the top of the product detail page. She added they also have to cater to an increasing number of social platforms, where each platforms has their own formats.
"There is the complexification of the consumer journey, which we call the messy middle, which sees consumers trying to find information on multiple platforms. This messy middle means we must produce content for information on various platforms," Guichard told Paige O'Neill, chief marketing officer of Sitecore.
"We are also focused on personalisation or the universalisation of beauty. It rebalances the need for more diversity and more inclusions. When the content we produce goes to a region, we adapt our content and product to a particular region's culture."
When it comes to managing content at scale, L'Oreal has a mammoth task as it currently has 2.2 million assets for 35 brands and more than 10 million services that the brand pushes to consumers.
According to Guichard, the content on L'Oreal websites has more than 1 billion consumer visits. So, when the brand thinks about innovation, it tries to understand how it can scale and translate good ideas on its websites.
"We have built an infrastructure to handle the content we produce, our services, and our direct-to-consumer brands. We have also created measuring tools to measure all these," explained Guichard.
"What is interesting is that we adapt to new types of content every year. For example, the most recent one is live streaming, where we had to produce thousands of hours of live streaming for our Asian consumers."
To connect with its diverse customer base, L'Oreal looks at its consumers' journey to see if they come from a Google search, a QR code on a product, or a social platform.
Whatever the journey, these consumers convert to L'Oreal's websites, where its brands live.
Keys to the digital content future
L'Oreal's vision for tomorrow is predictability and immersive, said Guichard. She explained predictability is providing consumers with the right product by gathering as much knowledge as possible on skin and hair ageing mechanisms.
For example, L'Oreal partnered with Verily, a health company, to better understand and characterise skin and hair ageing mechanisms and inform L'Oréal's precision beauty tech strategy and product development.
Verily's research team and L'Oréal's Active Cosmetics Division will also explore developing new technologies and telediagnosis solutions, such as sensors and AI algorithms for dermatology and skincare. These new solutions will form the basis for new services.
For immersive, Guichard shares the example of Yves Saint Laurent. The brand created Scent-Sation, an in-store experience using emotions to provide personalised fragrance advice to consumers.
YSL Beauty also partnered with the decentralised social token platform P00LS and two music artists, Agathe Mougin and Kittens, selling out all 1.3 million tokens in seven days through 24,000 people, including 4,600 who own both tokens.
"We have thousands of possibilities in front of us, and it's only web2, so the playground for us will be web3," said Guichard.
This week, Campaign's media and technology editor Shawn Lim is reporting from the Sitecore Symposium 2022 conference in Chicago.