Our Digital IQ Index: Beauty | France found with the exception of mobile advertising – which is projected to grow 80% in 2014 – France’s beauty brands have underinvested in mobile. Only 48% of French brand sites are mobile-optimized, compared to 60% of U.K. and 75% of U.S. brand sites.
74% of smartphone users in France research products on their phone, but most brand sites in our Index lack frequently-sought information. Just 29% have customer ratings. 57% have a store locator function, but only 39% are geolocation enabled. M-commerce adoption is slightly better, with over half of sites m-commerce enabled. One brand, Kenzo, facilitates transactions through third-party retailers.
Clarins, Nivea, Estée Lauder, and L’Occitane are a few exceptions to the norm. Estée Lauder allows users to sort reviews by usefulness, date, and rating. Nivea’s French mobile site has touch and swipe technology and m-commerce links to third-party retailers, but lacks a store locater and user reviews. ‘Genius’ brand Clarins’ mobile site has sorting options, swipeable images, an expandable navigation menu, and a store locator that auto-detects user location. ‘Genius’ L’Occitane’s mobile site goes a step further; its iPhone app has a scanning technology connected with an interactive catalogue.
Lackluster mobile capabilities are part of why 56% of brands in our France Beauty Index fall in the ‘Challenged’ and ‘Feeble’ categories. For brands looking to gain an edge over the competition, mobile investments can be a straightforward way to gain a head start.