E-Tailer partnerships are crucial for brands, whether or not they have direct-to-consumer commerce capabilities.

Beauty specialists like Sephora and Marionnaud were the first to capture online sales and continue to own over 80% of beauty-specific traffic, besting parapharmacies and Amazon according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. 

However, parapharmacies and scaled multichannel retailers, such as La Redoute and Santé Discount, have started to invest in paid Google search to boost their digital credentials. With some 23,000 stores across France, parapharmacies and French beauty are inextricably linked. As their digital capabilities mature, they’ll prove to be key retail partners for both skin care and independent brands.

Nevertheless, Sephora has been a boon for several indie brands, enabling them to break into the French beauty market. Color cosmetic brand Too Faced took to the top this year as Gifted. Its strategy involved exclusively launching through Sephora, leveraging the beauty store’s large consumer base, directing Instagram users to Sephora for e-commerce and using local influencers to promote and release products. While the enterprise dominance on retailer websites continues, private label brands from Marionnaud, Nocibé and Sephora are elevated among the top ten brands by share of branded traffic on each platform.

As brands seek pockets of growth, they must consider that winning brands differ by retailer. Therefore, beauty labels must strengthen partnerships with several retailers to garner the highest visibility for their product assortment.

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