Faaez Samadi
Feb 27, 2018

How a chatbot enticed new customers to Clarins Taiwan

CASE STUDY: Despite risks, Clarins and Isobar devised a chatbot-based system that quintupled new customers.

Background and aim

For the strategic launch of its Double Serum, beauty and skincare brand Clarins wanted a differentiated digital marketing plan. More importantly, Clarins was keen to employ a unique approach to communicate its core product technology story, focusing on “skin cells’ listening and speaking powers”.

Isobar Taiwan proposed an innovative idea: a chatbot. Mainly understood as a CRM tool in Taiwan, chatbots were also not cheap and customer acquisition could not be guaranteed. This required Clarins and Isobar to work closely to maximise the potential and minimise the risks. 

The goal was two-pronged:

  • Explore potential customers
  • Dialogue and engage with new customers.

Execution

Clarins and Isobar Taiwan co-created a complete online-to-offline communications ecosystem, using creativity, media, special techniques and data.

“Facebook enabled us to target the same users on different devices for its ‘identity-based’ instead of ‘cookie-based’ data, and save (information about) the users’ interests and hobbies, which enabled us to precisely target our ads at potential customers," said Kathy Chen, general manager of Clarins Taiwan. "So, instead of passively waiting for customers to come to us, we could take the initiative to reach out to them instead.” 

Isobar's solution comprised three separate stages: using segmented hooks to lead users to different dialogues, guiding them to download coupons, and utilizing e-stamps to verify when a coupon was redeemed, enabling optimisation. The e-stamp also eased the pain of the redemption process for Clarins represesntatives, so they could focus on consulting with customers.

“Building the ecosystem had its own set of challenges, as it was imperative that the dialogue focused on what consumers want to listen to, instead of what brands want to say," Chen said. "It was a laborious process to repeatedly practise the dialogue to optimise the communications process, so that Clarins was providing a helper instead of an ad for consumers.”

Edith Chou, managing director of Isobar Taiwan, said: “We knew it was necessary as smart consumers would not communicate with a brand just because of a chatbot. And based on our observations, we found that younger users are more reluctant to provide data, so the chatbot successfully replaced the function of form-filling and provided a simple and easy way for them to obtain a coupon, shortening the gap from awareness to purchase.”

Isobar designed a campaign which:

  1. Used Facebook Messenger to push relevant content to potential customers.
  2. Directed them to the Clarins Chatbot for product coupons which could then be downloaded onto their phone.
  3. Drove consumers to the nearest physical store to obtain Clarins’ products, effectively leading consumers from online to offline.

Results

The campaign exceeded all expectations, with Clarins not only attracting new customers, but also tracking consumer behaviour and further increasing store sales.

Isobar succeeded in building awareness of the Clarins Chatbot, reaching more than 3 million consumers in the process. Results following the launch in September 2017 included:

  • More than 300,000 media clickthroughs to the Clarins chatbot
  • More than 38,000 potential customers downloaded the e-coupons (exceeding initial KPIs)
  • 32% of customers who downloaded the e-coupons exchanged for Clarins’ products in-store

Clarins enjoyed a conversion rate 16 times better than previous digital advertising efforts, and a 9% increase in consumers who completed the exchange process.

“Within the challenging retail environment, it is very difficult to even double the number of new customers, let alone [increase it] by 5.2 times, which was the result of this campaign," Chen said. "With the increased footfall to our Clarins stores, product sales saw an uplift of 188% in the month of September 2017,” Chen added.

Credits

Isobar Taiwan

  • General manager – Edith Chou
  • Senior vice president – Debby Chang
  • Account director – Sandy Lin
  • Account manager – Ikea Chan
  • Associate vice president, media business – Perry Wang
  • Media manager – Eric Wu
  • Associate media manager – Lucy Wang
  • Senior media planner – Jed Wu
  • Media planner – Pei Lee
  • Communication planning director – Vera Cheng
  • Data analysis manager – Joey Chung
  • System designer – Edison Chuang
  • Front-end tech manager – Joy Wang
  • Executive creative director – Cheryl Chen
  • Creative director – Mag Chen
  • Associate creative director, Joey Huang
  • Senior copywriter, Sean Lee

Clarins Taiwan

  • General manager – Kathy Chen
  • Marketing director – Daphne Chen
  • Digital & EC manager – Ellen Liu
  • Assistant PR manager – Kelsey Hsiao

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