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LOreal Taxi Boutique

L’Oréal USA was motivated and inspired by the Tesco Wall and the use of QR codes and now SnapTags to support mobile commerce. Last month passengers in New York City found “Shop The Look” icons in a fleet of m-commerce-enabled Taxi Shops to instantly buy Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent beauty products while riding through Manhattan. Through their partnership, L’Oréal and Glamour provided passengers free rides anywhere in Manhattan for five days from Fashion Week hot spots such as the Meatpacking District, Lincoln Center and Condé Nast. We spoke with Marc Speichert, CMO of L’Oréal USA, to understand more and learn the results.

Brandon Gutman: How did you come up with the idea for Mobile Taxi Shops?

Marc Speichert: The U.S. ecommerce market is expected to grow at 12% CAGR through 2015 while mobile and social are expected to explode at 59% and 148%. Today’s beauty consumers desire the ability to shop when, where and how often they choose. At L’Oréal we are committed to providing our customer with a unique brand experience through many different media channels. One of our main priorities is around the mobile and social shopping experience and for this project, we partnered with Glamour to create the Mobile Taxi Shops.

What were the results of the initiative? Can you share any specific data?

The objective of the Mobile Taxi Shop was to learn more about our consumer’s behavior. The program was really a pilot to see if this type of shopping experience would appeal to our taxi riders. The results were very telling and showed that downloads to the app increased by approximately 80% during the 5 day campaign and that nearly 1 in 3 of our Mobile Taxi Riders snapped a Tag. The reaction from participants was extremely positive as well with nearly all participants surveyed stating that they would like to see more shopping experiences in NYC taxis in the future and 94% agreeing that the program showed both Lancôme and Yves Saint Laurent as industry innovators. From a media standpoint, the program’s visibility garnered 51mm impressions during the 5 day campaign. In fact, 22mm impressions were generated before the first Mobile Taxi even hit the street.

What was your biggest learning?

Planning and execution must be flawless to ensure that our shopper has a positive mobile experience. We tested every aspect of the program possible to prepare. The one issue that arose which we found in testing was that the angle of the bottom of the SnapTag on the back of the taxi seat was in a position which made it difficult for some riders to get the Snap to work quickly. As a result, we had cards printed with the SnapTag on them that the passenger could hold and snap with both hands or take with them to use later. Overall we had an incredibly positive response that exceeded our expectations.

Marc Speichert

Are you planning to continue the initiative?

The Mobile Taxi Shops initiative was just a test to better understand our consumer and how she is using mobile technology. Our ambitions are much broader in the world of mobile technology and our main priority is to be accessible and engaging to our consumer whether in store, on the road, at home or whenever and wherever she needs us. There are many exciting projects planned to leverage innovation to bring beauty to life.

What is your most important advice to fellow brand marketers when considering emerging channels?

You need to know your consumer well and set clear objectives that are measurable and meaningful. It is vital to focus on execution from the point of awareness all the way through fulfillment and customer service. You need to be able to look at the overall picture while at the same time managing the complexities and intricacies of the project execution. There can be no flaws. We have learned that the pay back will be seen in sales, likes, advocacy and sharing through all different forms of social media.

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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