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Avon MD on its transition to omnichannel, Amazon reboot and ‘fast tracking’ its digital transformation

Kristof Neirynck

Last month, cosmetics company Avon, known for its army of sales representatives, launched on Amazon in a bid to accelerate its omnichannel strategy.

Hoping to attract a broader customer base who “wish to enjoy aspirational beauty products at irresistible value”, Avon believes now is “the perfect time” to launch 300 beauty and skincare products on the ecommerce marketplace, with more planned later this year.

“It’s an opportunity for us to bring products to a wider customer base who wish to enjoy premium products at affordable prices, especially during the cost-of-living crisis,” Avon managing director of Western Europe and chief marketing officer, Kristof Neirynck tells InternetRetailing.

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On Avon’s digital transformation

Overseeing Avon’s global marketing strategy across all its markets and being responsible for reigniting its brand to drive business growth, Neirynck claims the cosmetics company is making “huge progress” in its digital transformation.

In partnership with Wunderman Thompson UK, the cosmetics business created a new brand identity, which celebrates women who are “living out their full potential”.

“In the past, we have done logo changes, small cosmetic touches but nothing at this scale with this level of investment behind it. We’ve made such progress in our digital transformation, we felt that now was the right time to open up,” Neirynck claims.

As a result, he adds Avon is “working really hard” on streamlining its portfolio to focus on its “hero products”. As part of the relaunch, customers can expect even wider omnichannel access to over 300 of Avon’s products through its website and via Amazon.

Currently, Avon is focusing on serving its new and existing customers through the ecommerce marketplace, and has dismissed any other online partnerships. Instead, Neirynck reveals the company is expecting a bigger proportion of the business to now take place online following its launch.

On becoming ‘fully omnichannel’

In 2021, Avon CEO Angela Cretu said the company wants to become “fully omnichannel” over the next three years, linking different methods of selling from doorsteps to online.

However, two years on, Neirynck believes the company is “well on its way to becoming fully omnichannel”, following its reboot.

“Online sales are now nearly three times pre-pandemic levels and launching Avon products on Amazon opens up our brand to a new customer base,” he says.

“The pandemic was a big turning point for us where with lots of people stuck at home, we fast tracked our digital transformation. We’re living in the digital age and in order to keep up with the times and with our growing customers across different markets, it is important for us to be able to communicate with them and serve them wherever they may be.”

On the future of Avon Reps

Avon, which has been running for over 136 years, has around six million representatives worldwide, who go door-to-door in exchange for, on average, 20% commission off each product they sell.

Apart of its new strategy to become fully omnichannel, the cosmetics company has developed WhatsApp brochures, virtual try on tools and AvonON- its one-stop app for Reps to manage their businesses from their mobile phones.

This comes as Avon reported 30% of consumer contacts with Reps are now happening digitally.

With all the changes being made to Avon’s strategy, Neirynck ensures that Avons representatives will “always remain an important part of the business”, particularly as it continues to invest in upskilling.

“With the cost-of-living crisis gripping the nation, being able to provide more consumers with high-quality affordable beauty products is a key priority and expansion into channels like Amazon will only support us and our reps to grow Avon’s collective customer base,” he says.

“Supporting women to realise their full potential and achieve financial independence is something that Avon knows all too well.”

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