Coca-Cola and L’Oréal pull ahead on the e-commerce playing field

Posted in: E-commerce, FMCG, Shopper Insights by Johanna Toiviainen | Comments to this post

We have entered a new era of consumer goods – a new era in which brands are confronted with environmental changes resulting from new needs, on the part of both consumers and manufacturers.

Innovation in the consumer goods sector is largely connected to the digitization of services: consumers are more and more technology-dependent, and their purchasing behaviors are changing accordingly. The increased accessibility of smartphones and social networks further contributes to these patterns. The result is a major need for brands to build strong relationships with their customers, and – why not? – to do the same for the products that they sell. This is especially true when you consider the fact that consumers are increasingly attracted to cross-channel buying methods! In a context of constant technological evolution, consumers have become accustomed to using multiple distribution channels. This phenomenon is illustrated, for example, by growth in ROPO (research online, purchase offline) behaviors among the French, who have incorporated their technological tools as part of their consumer processes.

Manufacturers come up against the challenge of big data when they try to accurately target this type of behavioral change. They are now investing more and more in developing tools to sort and analyze reliable consumer data. This has created a need for brands to identify the management methods and pivot lines that are most likely to expand their maneuvering room. Swaven has responded to this complex issue, and all of its multiple challenges, with real-time sorting and analysis using an agile, user-friendly dashboard.

Always at the cutting edge of innovation, the Coca-Cola Company and L’Oréal have adopted the Swaven Active Insights solution, Where to Buy, to handle two separate issues for their Finley and Mixa brands. This widget is a response to the new challenges facing consumer goods. In the cases of Coca-Cola and L’Oréal, their request concerned, respectively, the launch of Finley (with the largest marketing budget since the launch of Coca-Cola Zero!) and the development of an e-commerce approach aligned with Mixa’s distribution path. The fact that the widget offers a web-to-store service (with a point-of-sale locator) is only the visible peak of an enormous iceberg. Up till now, brands could not track their product range references at chain stores. Where to Buy spells a digital revolution in this area, delivering all of the stock/user/chain/product data needed to obtain a better understanding of the economic environment, in addition to fulfilling the functions of a store locator. In other words, the solution can secure returns on large investments by directing traffic to brands’ websites.

In opting for Swaven’s Where to Buy, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal strengthened their ties with their customers. Today, the main challenge for brands is not to bring customers into closer contact with the brand itself, but rather to its finished goods. This is the main advantage of Where to Buy, which establishes direct contact with the consumer, bypassing the distributor. As a result, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal are able to maintain a more direct, more seamless relationship between their consumers and their products. Along those same lines, the brands are also fulfilling their need to improve the customer experience and the buying process, by increasing the number of available transaction channels. Because consumers today are ever more attached to their technological tools, they want to use their smartphones and tablets more and more in every aspect of their day-to-day lives. One illustration is the growing trend of exploring multiple transaction channels before making a purchase (ROPO, or research online, purchase offline). Innovative services like Where to Buy will be a deciding factor in attracting consumers to one brand over another!

Thanks to this initiative, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal now have more complete knowledge of their businesses and their environments, which gives them the possibility of launching improvements at any time. In this respect, not only does Where to Buy boost the profitability of brand websites by increasing the customer-buyer conversion rate, but it also provides for more agile sales management. The key benefits of this digital solution are twofold: by making overall product management more flexible, Where to Buy also makes it possible to continuously fulfill consumers’ needs.

The team at Swaven would like to take this opportunity to thank Coca-Cola and L’Oréal for their daring, as well as for making us a trusted partner. These two brands are front-runners in this arena, and their confidence in us reinforces our belief in our capacity to deliver high-quality services.

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