Clarins also sees benefit of WeChat in conquering China
In the West, Clarins sells its' products through distributors but in Asia the brand has invested in a different strategy, from their own counters in department stores, which account for about 90% of the business, to bridging offline and online sales through platforms like WeChat.
China is already the second largest online retail market in the world, and the fastest growing. Here, the details lie in creating more active events, promotions and digital marketing strategies, especially through social media platforms.
According to Clarins ecommerce guru, Julien Chiavassa; WeChat is particularly bridging the online/offline gap, offering the brand more control over its' customer database as well as helping to bring people into stores in China too.
"At Clarins we offer prospective customers the chance to try before they buy. So for each marketing campaign we do, there is an online sampling initiative where we ask people to register [with us] on WeChat and then they can collect a free sample at the store of their choice," Chiavassa explained to econsultancy.com.
"We can then explain to them how the products should be used, so they benefit from advice of the team in store," he added.
WeChat helping to re-invent direct sales model
According to our regional expert, Florence Bernardin; WeChat is becoming an increasingly important way to distribute in China, and Chinese brands are now even recruiting the platform's users to present and sell their products directly to followers.
“WeChat can help to re-invent direct sales model. It is an efficient way of marketing and selling thanks to photo sharing and word of mouth,” she tells CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com, following a recent visit to the region.
Major players are investing in domestic AND Western staff
According to Chiavassa, when it comes to digital strategies in China, Clarins sees strong local talent as key.
However, he says there is still a divide between Chinese people and foreigners, both professionally and socially, so it can be difficult to build close relationships together.
"We have begun to recruit more from overseas to create a more mixed culture, we strongly believe we need local talent but this being said, we also believe that we need cultural diversity in our teams," he told econsultancy.com.