Unlike other beauty categories that can successfully demonstrate products online, fragrance brands remain highly dependent on offline channels. Some fragrance brands, however, have sniffed out a few digital techniques to make the most of their online presence.
The online environment is laden with disadvantages for fragrance brands. Besides the obvious fact that fragrances can’t be experienced through the screen, many digital investments for fragrance brands are limited by licensee site architecture. Unsurprisingly, only 64% of fragrance brands have e-commerce on-site, compared to 89% of skincare and color cosmetics brands, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty UK. However, one way some scent brands have turned a so-so situation into a sweet one is to invest in omnichannel functionalities on-site rather than in direct-to-consumer e-commerce. Marc Jacobs, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren Fragrances have all added geolocation to their store locators to ease the path to purchase for consumers.
Carolina Herrera takes this one step further. Though its mobile site lacks e-commerce capabilities, the brand immediately prompts the user to geolocate using an advanced store locator conveniently displayed at the top of the homepage. The locator then lists nearby store locations on a map and in text, with details on relevant closing times. Each store location has its own page with extensive information on the individual store and the collections carried. Phone numbers and emails listed throughout the locator pages are all clickable, and the map leads directly to Google Maps for directions when clicked.
The online world doesn’t currently support the full experience of a fragrance, but this doesn’t mean fragrance brands should settle for stale online presences. Until internet scratch-n-sniff becomes a reality, a full-bodied omnichannel plan can ensure no online opportunities are missed.