As the largest fragrance-only retailer in the UK and Ireland, The Perfume Shop leads with an innovative website and clear customer focus. As well as more than 260 outlets, an extensive product range and regular offers, its site includes free perfume samples with purchases, free delivery, free click-and-collect and a generous Rewards Club loyalty scheme with discounts, money-off coupons, free gifts and VIP events.
Innovation is not limited to the website: last year it took a mobile pop-up shop on the road to the Fusion Festival in Liverpool, followed by visits to various events in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Like Superdrug, The Perfume Shop is owned by A S Watson (ASW), the largest health and beauty retailer in Europe and Asia with more than 14,000 stores across 12 brands in 24 markets. ASW plans to open 1,300 new stores globally this year. “Growth in terms of store numbers is just part of the picture,” says ASW group chief operating officer Malina Ngai, “we are well aware that offering the best customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction is key to our continued success. The way that our customers shop is continually changing and we know how important it is to keep at the forefront of changing trends and innovation by the effective use of big data…today’s customer requires us to continue to invest and drive our digital strategy.”
ASW is currently investing £52million in expanding its big data capability to enhance customer experience. Its eLab project – launched in 2014 and aimed at developing “inspirational and innovative ecommerce” to complement its store operations – is also expanding. In August it announced a major recruitment drive to employ an additional 200 IT experts, 150 at its Milan and London centres and 50 in Asia.
The London eLab is closely involved in developing The Perfume Shop site, both with the latest technology and marketing ideas. The site offers extensive search options – by brand, price and product – as well as multiple gift choices that are regularly updated, in August, or example, it included Eid gifts, and there are also selections for vegans and the health conscious. A “try me” button on selected products signals a free perfume sample and perfume bottles can be personalised with engraved names or messages. According to ASW, “eLab has helped to generate 600 million website visitors, with 80 million fans interacting with the A S Watson brands across the globe.”