In the beauty industry’s new power play: technology acquisitions


Another advantage was Crea’s established presence in Southeast Asian markets such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Additionally, Reis was impressed with Crea’s technology platform, Cusp, which has multi-factor capabilities, enabling reporting as well as consolidation and delivery of multiple products across multiple platforms at the same time. “It also allows us to configure and create specials or promotions on the fly and test them in real time,” Reis adds.

The e-commerce boom driven by the pandemic has highlighted how ill-equipped many businesses are to operate consistently online, Shkolnik notes. “In theory, a lot of companies had sorted out their supply chain and logistics. [They] then soon realized that they were in fact completely unprepared to meet the demand. Now these companies need to give consumers the reassurance that if they buy products online it will be a good experience and they don’t want to have to return them.

No one in the industry has been spared the demands of the e-commerce boom, says Shkolnik. “Even companies with historically very strong websites have been tested to the limit because they never believed they would. [to] on the scale of this capacity.

To that end, Shkolnik suggests that the most valuable investments for some mainstream brands may be basic functional improvements. “We are seeing a lot of interest in the technology. There has been a pivot in the prospect and the goal now is to make sure that the online customer experience is really smooth, ”says Shkolnik, adding that the fruits at hand include a more transparent checkout and options. split or deferred payment known as Buy It Now. -later (BNPL).

Simple returns and easily accessible customer service shouldn’t be overlooked either, says Shkolnik. “If your business doesn’t have the infrastructure to absorb and adapt to a new technology or platform, it can only hurt your brand. “

Acquisition vs internal development

Il Makiage, L’Oréal and SuperOrdinary all had strong internal capabilities, but knowing when to acquire and when to continue building in-house is another difficult decision. For Reis at SuperOrdinary, the decision was efficiency and speed. “Really, it’s down to my own impatience, because I know how long it takes to build a brand,” he says. “It would have taken a lot of resources and bandwidth and maybe even a relocation of the team to do all of this internally. “

Of the acquisition of Modiface, Balooch from L’Oréal speaks frankly: “Developing internally has never been a question for us. We’ve always wanted to look outside, and sometimes we have to really sing for our supper and get the startups to work with us. Big startups have a lot of choice and they need to focus.

Acquisitions must align with company values ​​- you can’t just buy your way into the metaverse, says Accenture’s Depraeter-Montacel. “If you don’t tell your consumers a real, authentic story, it will kill your brand. Before you decide which direction to go, make sure it’s very consistent with your storytelling, ”she says.

L’Oréal takes this alignment very seriously. “For us, the question is not: ‘What is the latest technology?’ Says Balooch. “Our approach is not to ride waves, but rather to understand what people really want and if it can be solved with technology.”

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