With e-commerce sales surging 10% per year as brick-and-mortar sales decline, Beauty brands have ramped up their digital investments. Six Feeble and Challenged brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty Germany jumped into the Average category this year after showing strengthened performance on mobile and local e-tailers.

However, the study also pinpoints a clear divide between mass and prestige brands. All the Geniuses are mass brands; furthermore, mass brands have an average score of 107, compared with 93 for prestige brands.

Top 10 Beauty Brands in Germany

1. Maybelline New York
Digital IQ: 153

The brand earns its top ranking with a site that smoothly integrates content and commerce. For example, the “Hot News” section seamlessly connects videos, tutorials, tips, and trends to product pages – and vice versa. Search visibility is optimised for mobile with deep links to tutorials and videos, and the brand’s YouTube channel offers playlists of tutorials with both brand ambassadors and professional makeup artists.

2. Nivea
Digital IQ: 145

Strong merchandising efforts on Amazon. de, such as special promotions and participation in Amazon Pantry, result in impressive search visibility on the e-tailer. The brand also makes its site a consultation hub, letting users sort through information based on individual skin type or concern. Its new Nivea Für Mich app expands the loyalty program and includes features such as discounts and a barcode scanner.

3. L’Oréal Paris
Digital IQ: 140

L’Oréal boasts a range of cutting-edge apps, such as omnichannel loyalty app L’Oréal Privée. Beauty “Lounges” containing rich product tips and tricks boost the brand’s search visibility, while tutorials broken down by category and style help users identify their ideal look.

L'Oreal

4. Essence Cosmetics
Digital IQ: 139

The native German brand punches above its weight class this year, leaping into the high Gifted ranks – a marked contrast with its Average performance in 2015. Essence lifted its rank by investing in local e-tailers and social media; the brand also has stronger traffic and web authority than many of its peers, chiefly driven by its popularity on review site beautytester.de.

4. The Body Shop
Digital IQ: 139

Together with Estée Lauder, The Body Shop outpaces the broader Index in both desktop and mobile advertising investments. The brand is one of just a handful employing a diagnostic tool that lets users add all products to cart with one click.

6. Clarins
Digital IQ: 135

Clarins focuses largely on refining customer service and checkout. The brand leverages email marketing to connect with consumers and consistently has one of the most user-friendly sites in the Index with regards to the checkout experience.

7. MAC Cosmetics
Digital IQ: 134

MAC offers a best-in-class example of mobile search excellence. The brand invests in paid ads with multiple deep links, filling the entire screen; the ad also has a click-to-call button that connects users to store representatives. Beneath the paid result, MAC holds the top organic result with long deep links to a store locator.

MAC

8. ArtDeco
Digital IQ: 131

ArtDeco’s strong point is its sophisticated site. A range of content includes how-tos, trends, and articles, while the “My Beauty Box” feature lets shoppers customize their own palettes.

9. Benefit Cosmetics
Digital IQ: 130

Benefit’s social strategy is consistently strong across geographies, and Germany is no exception. The brand also offers the richest product pages in the Index, with features including advanced review filters.

9. Clinique
Digital IQ: 130

Clinique’s outstanding mobile site includes a store locator and click-to-call customer service. The brand also gains high visibility on Douglas as a featured brand, and its global “Play with Pop” campaign integrates advertising with YouTube strategy.

9. Garnier
Digital IQ: 130

The new Garnier site links to multiple e-tailers from product pages and integrates brand content from social platforms. Investments in mobile advertising also demonstrate the brand’s prioritization of mobile.

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