Estée Lauder Boosts Digital Sales 60% Via Livestreaming, Virtual Try-Ons

The iconic beauty brand leveraged virtual try-on sessions, shoppable livestreams, and more to boost online sales amid the pandemic.

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Need to Know

  • Estee Lauder’s online sales grew 60% last quarter due to improved online services while conversion rates improved by nearly 10 times.
  • The iconic beauty brand’s net sales totaled $3.56 billion for the quarter and digital sales comprised 35% of all first-quarter retail sales in the Americas.
  • Brands under the Estee Lauder umbrella launched virtual try-on sessions, shoppable livestreams, and digital consultations to better connect with customers online.

Analysis

Due to new and improved digital services that better serve its customers, Estee Lauder’s online sales have grown 60%, leading to total net sales of $3.56 billion. 

The fast-growing online sales drew from a number of online retail platforms. And, amazingly, online sales from Estee Lauder’s brands’ websites, third-party platforms, and other retailers’ websites comprised 35% of total first-quarter sales in the Americas.  

“Once again, each of our online channels contributed meaningfully,” said Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies, on an earnings call. “We continued to strategically invest in our brand sites globally, bringing our classic high-touch services to consumers online. The response has been phenomenal.”

As the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused retailers to pivot their sales strategies and focus on digital offerings. 

“In North America, the Estée Lauder brand launched AI-driven product recommendations based on real-time consumers’ behaviors and past preferences,” said Freda.

Estee Lauder launched virtual try-on sessions for a number of its brands, which rely on augmented reality technology to allow customers to see how a makeup product would look on their skin, hosting more than 1 million sessions globally. 

Iconic brands like Clinique and Bobbi Brown, part of the Estee Lauder family, launched shoppable live streams to better connect with customers. Bobbi Brown also used pre-booked virtual consultations, live chat, and masterclass programs to generate online sales. 

Added Freda, “These virtual services have a higher conversion rate up to ten times the average and a higher average order value. With enticing innovation and engaging new services and tools, conversion grew strong double-digits across our brand sites.”

Estee Lauder also this week launched a new hassle-free gift option for online holiday shopping. In partnership with SmartGift, the beauty retailer’s brands Aveda, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Origins, and Too Faced Cosmetics websites will now offer a ‘Send as a Gift’ option, allowing shoppers to send a greeting card or personalized message with their gift, which can then be digitally “unwrapped” while the gift is shipped to the recipient. 

“Everyone is online…. Maybe in the future when [stores reopen], we believe that omnichannel will be very strong,” predicts Freda. “And so people will use both brick-and-mortar and online, obviously. But the amount of partners online will stay higher and, particularly, will stay higher in our estimate in the mature group of consumers, which are very important for us, very important for beauty. So this is a sustainable trend and a sustainable acceleration.”

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