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CASE STUDY L’Occitane en Provence: building loyalty

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Cosmetics brand L’Occitane en Provence is ranked Elite in the RetailX Europe Top1000, where it stands out for the way it fosters customer loyalty and engagement through tools including a L’Occitane club that rewards actions from leaving a review to following it on Facebook.

L’Occitane en Provence started life in 1976 when it was founded by Olivier Baussan and by 1997 it had grown into the international L’Occitane Group with brands. Its 2022 full-year results show net sales of €1.8bn – 15.8% up on the previous year – and net profit of  €241.9m (+57.5%), with L’Occitane the main driver of growth. About a third of group sales take place online. 

L’Occitane serves more than 70 markets around the world through international, localised websites, and delivers to around 90 countries. Products are easy to find on its home market French website, with clear navigation and well-illustrated products. Once customers start to search the site offers immediate recommendations, including popular search terms and images of recommended products. Searches can be narrowed down through filters including product type, textures, collections, price and skin types, while responses can be ranked by price, newness and bestseller status. Products are illustrated through a choice of images, star ratings and reviews and well as information about how to use the product. Shoppers can see how many reviews have been given, what percentage of shoppers would recommend an item, and how many stars shoppers gave, as well as reading questions and answers from the L’Occitane community.  From the product page shoppers are shown fulfilment options, including finding a nearby shop. 

Customer engagement

From its home page, visitors can also find links to its Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube pages. It has more than 6.3m followers on Facebook, where it shares product images and inspiration alongside information about in-person events and stores, and also has a store interface that links to its website for checkout. They can also sign up to the newsletter from the home page and, on the French website, join the L’Occitane +Moi loyalty club to earn points for a range of actions, from purchases to leaving a product review, following the brand on Facebook and sharing birthday information. Those with 200 points gain ambassador status, entitled to personal advice, events to in-store events, birthday surprises and 10% discounts. On the UK website, customers can sign up for an auto-replenishment subscription service to their favourite items on the UK website, save products to a wishlist and find out about refilling products in-store

Payment options on its French website include PayPal alongside credit and debit cards, while options flagged up on its UK home page also include Klarna and Apple Pay. On the UK site shoppers are offered the option of guest checkout or registering. Social sign-ins are also available.

Delivery promises are localised by market. Visitors to its French website are offered free standard delivery when they spend at least €60, while click and collect is free of charge from a shop. Premium delivery offers are also available, including one to two day delivery via Chronopost for €9.50. Shoppers in the UK get free standard delivery when they spend £25 and can sign up to L’Occi Premier delivery for £5 a year, for unlimited free next-day delivery. One-hour deliveries are also available via Uber Eats. The brand offers 14-day returns in France and 28-day returns in the UK. 

This piece first appeared in the RetailX Top1000 Europe 2022. Download here to see the full listing and analysis of Europe’s leading retailers

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