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Fragrance and personal care

Lancôme transitions app capabilities to mobile Web with revamped site

December 7, 2016

Lancôme's new mobile site takes ideas from apps Lancôme's new mobile site takes ideas from apps


Beauty marketer Lancôme is retooling its mobile Web site experience to more closely resemble a native application in a move to better engage its clientele.

The features, speed and easy interfaces of mobile apps have conditioned consumers to expect the same from Web sites they visit on their smartphones. Keeping these expectations in mind, Lancôme is using features of Google’s Progressive Web App technology along with other app-like features to further consumers’ user experience on mobile.

"Lancôme's strategy was to create an app-like experience for customers," said Gerard Pietrykiewicz, project manager at Mobify, the site.

"Initially, they wanted to develop an iOS app, but when they saw the potential of Progressive Web they went with this solution as it allowed them to have a single solution for both iOS and Android," he said. "It also didn't require customers to install an app, and they could visit the Web site directly from Web search -- even using voice like Siri or Google Now."

App abilities
Lancôme’s site leverages Mobify’s Progressive Mobile technology, which builds upon Google’s app-like capabilities. The new mobile site resembles a native app, with a clean layout featuring large buttons and image-heavy tiles.

At the top of the homepage, icons provide easy access to search, a store locator and the user's shopping bag.

With the help of Google’s functionalities, Lancôme’s site can use engagement tactics typically seen from apps, such as push notifications and mobile payments.

Already, the entire customer journey within the site has moved to the Progressive Mobile platform. Going forward, other features will be added, such as the inclusion of Apple Pay, making Lancôme one of the first to use the payment option’s mobile Web version.

Lancome mobile site

Screenshot of Lancôme’s mobile site

A second phase of the site’s update will also include a personalization feature, in which the site will serve up content based on the user’s location or activity.

This app-based site is also expected to boost Lancôme’s sales, with page loads two to four times faster. Based on research from Mobify, every 100 milliseconds a retailer can eliminate from its homepage loading time increases session conversion rates by 1.11 percent.

A number of brands, including Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss, are turning their attention away from apps and toward the mobile Web. Unless a consumer is a frequent shopper of a particular label, it is difficult to convince them to give up storage real estate on their phone to a brand’s app.

"The major benefit [of this type of mobile Web platform] is the time to market and cost," Mr. Pietrykiewicz said. "If you have a single website that provides app like experience, then you have to maintain only that one Web site.

"With apps you always have the lag of deploy and update on the user's side. This is a faster, cheaper and easier to maintain solution," he said. "Moreover, when a desktop Web site updates with a new product, the mobile version just picks it up without a need for a deployment.

"Some brands are removing their apps from app stores because they are expensive to maintain both platforms, and constantly update apps to support new devices, new versions, new screen sizes. A progressive Web site like Lancôme’s, when it is designed and executed correctly, works well on all platforms."

Sales from mobile commerce are up 40 percent this year, making it the fastest-growing channel compared to ecommerce’s 11 percent increase year-over-year, according to a new report from the e-tailing group, which was recently acquired by Astound Commerce (see story).

Digital mover
Coming in fourth in L2's most recent beauty rankings (see story), Lancôme has proven its digital prowess and innovative edge in the category.

The brand recently launched a new Web site that simplifies the online shopping experience for its customers.

Lancôme updated its online store to better reflect the experience consumers have come to expect at its physical points of sale, using the Edgecase Product Intelligence Platform to ensure that its descriptions mirror the language of the consumer. Within beauty, translating the makeup counter experience to the online environment has created a need for consumer-centric ecommerce solutions (see story).

The beauty brand also lets consumers see what a product will look like on a similar skin tone with a new ecommerce tool.

Lancôme is using Sight Commerce’s Infinite cloud-based visual commerce solution, which allows consumers to select a model that is the closest to their skin color and then see how any products they browse would look once applied. Shopping for cosmetics online can be stressful, since it can be difficult for consumers to tell how a certain color or product will look on their face, a problem this tool aims to solve (see story).

"The new Progressive  Web site is not just new colors and images, it is not a simple refresh," Mr. Pietrykiewicz said. "This is a full on change with user experience in mind.

"And the new Web site is not just shrunk for the small screen but designed with a small screen in mind, which means putting a lot of effort into making it easy to use, very easy to read and what we call friction free," he said. "The idea is to make it so intuitive that the user just goes with it without thinking what is the next step because it so obvious that it makes for a very good shopping experience."