Amazon.fr is France’s largest internet retailer with an average of 14 million monthly unique visitors in the third quarter of 2013. Following closely is Sephora, which holds 27% of the retail market for Beauty in France. But a big surprise in L2’s 2014 Digital IQ Index: Beauty | France was Yves Rocher’s spot as the most preferred online shopping destination for beauty products. Thirty-two percent of 1,340 respondents named Yves Rocher their favorite destination for Beauty and Personal Care products. No other brand site made it as one the top e-commerce destinations.
Why does Yves Rocher have a special place in French hearts? For starters, the brand is one of the few mass brands not available on Amazon.com. Shunning third-party e-commerce and in-store retailers, the brand has implemented measures to become an offline and online shopping destination. It has invested in video content, such as a tutorial about sun tanning and protection for various skin types. It has a Blogzine run by a cast of journalists, scientists, mothers and other professions giving situation-specific beauty and packing tips featuring YvesRocher products.
Petals – the Yves Rocher loyalty card – is prominently displayed on the site. So is the store-finder, which also advertises spa treatments in Yves Rocher spas. And unlike many brand sites that focus solely on e-commerce, Yves Rocher’s site promotes in-store sales.
Despite winning over in popularity, Yves Rocher could be missing a segment of the market due to its absence on beauty retailer sites and stores. However, it can provide a case study of what consumers want to see in a beauty brand site.