Beauty 2014

December 16, 2014

Key Findings Site E-Commerce

  • Few sites are using subtler but more integrated approaches to guided selling. Only 15 percent of sites provide filters by skin type and only 14 percent provide filter by color, in contrast to 47 percent of sites that offer standalone interactive tools.
  • Almost a third of e-commerce-enabled brands offer live chat, compared to just three percent of non-e-commerce-enabled brands.
  • E-tailer visibility demonstrates the value of enterprise-wide synergies, as LVMH brands over-index on LVMH-owned Sephora. Meanwhile, the Estée Lauder portfolio outperforms all others on department store sites.

Key Findings Digital Marketing

  • Brands and e-tailers each control about a third of branded organic search visibility.
  • Fifty-five percent of branded searches return Google Product Listing Ads, of which only six percent are brand-owned.
  • For e-commerce-enabled brands, email content largely focuses on specific products or collections (49 percent), followed by offer-based emails (39 percent).

Key Findings Social Media

  • Facebook weekly post frequency has declined 33 percent since Q3 2013, while average absolute engagement increased by six percent.
  • Unlike Facebook, brands have upped their posting on Instagram, increasing post frequency 32 percent since Q3 2013 and enjoyed a 176 percent increase in average absolute engagement.
  • On YouTube, brand-owned organic search real estate pales in comparison to vloggers’; only eight percent of first-page results belong to brands, whereas 67 percent are owned by vloggers.

Key Findings Mobile

  • Of the 49 brands present in the 2011-2014 Indices, 98 percent now have a mobile optimized site, emphasizing the importance of mobile-first thinking.
  • Some brands are not porting over desktop site features to the mobile site experience. Sixty-three percent of brands host user reviews on desktop sites, but only 57 percent carry over this feature to mobile.
  • Brand apps as a whole have not scaled. Of the 17 brand apps released in 2014, only six have more than ten reviews.

About the Report

As digital investment continues to climb in Beauty, with paid search investment up 75 percent year over year and mobile site adoption nearing ubiquity, digital savvy is increasingly becoming the new arbiter. Mass and prestige brands alike are innovating across the Site & E-Commerce, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Mobile dimensions; for the first time in 2014, a mass brand topped the L2 Digital IQ Index: Beauty.
This study attempts to quantify the digital competence of 94 U.S. Beauty brands across three categories: Skin Care, Color Cosmetics, and Fragrance. In the fifth annual Index, we deepened our assessments on e-tailers, looking at presence on both mass and prestige players, as well as on brands’ display advertising efforts.

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