Securing a firm footing in the French beauty market is not an easy task as ‘traditional’ has long summed up the average French consumers’ beauty product preferences. Indeed, winning brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Indexes on Beauty France have been French. Although in recent years, disruptor brands have found success by leveraging the presence and reach of established local retailers such as Sephora.
Too Faced, Fenty Beauty, Urban Decay and Huda Beauty are among brands that have used Sephora as a launch pad in France. Too Faced’s partnership with Sephora extends to social media, where it directs Instagram users to Sephora for e-commerce and used local influencers to promote and release products. This summer, U.K.-based Charlotte Tilbury is set to follow suit, launching across Sephora stores in France and via its French e-commerce site.
A presence on Sephora’s site is a first step, but best-in-class brands implement various tactics to boost their visibility on the platform. According to Gartner L2’s report, Huda Beauty and Urban Decay garnered the greatest year-over-year rise in branded traffic on Sephora, generated by using ‘new’ and ‘exclusive’ product launch tags. The platform’s algorithm elevates these products to the top of category pages – a prime location for product discovery.
After a site relaunch in 2018, Sephora expanded the marketing placements available for brands to gain visibility on the platform. As the retailer takes steps to further monetize its platform, media will likely play a larger role in driving sales volumes on beauty specialists.