Native French brands continue to dominate the winners’ cohort in the online beauty market in France, but brand origin alone is not enough to maintain leads over new launches from non-French enterprises. The top ten brands in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty France 2020 develop sophisticated site features to aid online purchase, align co-op spend with retail partners to maximize second-order search visibility, and infuse local social handles with country-specific content and creative.
1. Dior Digital IQ: 144
Genius brand Dior leads the Index on Sephora, seeing particularly high visibility on the retailer’s fragrance category landing pages. On its own site, the brand features sophisticated technology that allows for quick load times, while strong web authority aids the brand’s organic Google search performance—in turn contributing to Index-leading site traffic volume. Additionally, Dior has a best-in-class performance across all social platforms, led by a strong presence on YouTube, growing its follower count by 13% year-over-year.
2. Yves Rocher Digital IQ: 132
Yves Rocher’s localized social content and messaging help the brand achieve the second-highest social media score in the Index. In addition to being the top performer on Google Shopping ads against nonbranded complexion terms, the brand also maintained strong SEO efforts across skin care keywords by including robust ingredient content across all skin care product pages on site.
3. L’Oréal Paris Digital IQ: 131
Tying for number three in the Index, L’Oréal Paris secures both a high digital share of shelf and top-ranked product positions in organic search results on Amazon, contributing to an Index-leading performance. The brand excels on nonbranded Showcase ads on Google search, particularly against complexion-focused keywords. Additionally, L’Oréal Paris has the second-highest performance among the Index for influencer marketing, winning a large share of interactions from “micro” influencers on Instagram.
3. Lancôme Digital IQ: 131
Lancôme leads the Index in mobile display advertising investment, driving an outsized share of voice with its video campaigns. The brand also supports sophisticated mobile site features like live chat and an augmented reality tool—functionalities only offered by a respective 22% and 20% of DTC Index brands.
5. YSL Beauty Digital IQ: 130
YSL Beauty is a top performer in Google SEM against nonbranded fragrance and color cosmetics terms. The brand also achieves the highest visibility on Nocibe’s “Gifting” category landing page during the holiday period and maintains strong organic visibility on Sephora. Additionally, YSL Beauty boasts a strong YouTube performance, generating high video views for its Black Opium and Libre fragrance campaigns.
6. Avène Digital IQ: 129
For the first time since 2018, Avèneestablishes its place in the top ten. The brand leads the Index in digital marketing, increasing its desktop display ad score by 54% year-over-year, particularly growing its video advertising and securing high Google search visibility across branded and nonbranded skin care terms. Additionally, Avène leads on retailer Easyparapharmacie, earning high visibility on skin care category landing pages.
7. Clarins Digital IQ: 128
Leading the Index in mobile site, Clarins excels through its guided selling capabilities, featuring an interactive tool guide that allows the user to add products directly to cart—a functionality only offered by 16% of Index brands. The brand also ranks third on Sephora, achieving the highest organic visibility on the “Skincare” category landing page of any Index brand.
8. Chanel Digital IQ: 127
Chanel re-entered the top ten this year thanks to its strong mobile site, featuring both a best-in-class store locator that provides directions to physical stores as well as top customer service functionalities such as live chat and ‘click-to-call.’ The brand also excelled on social, particularly on share of Instagram and YouTube interactions from beauty influencers.
9. Maybelline Digital IQ: 127
Maybelline comes in at number nine due to its digital marketing and e-commerce smarts, reflecting similar strengths in both the US and UK markets. The brand excels on mobile both in display advertising and nonbranded search. Maybelline is also the second-best Index-performer on Amazon, trailing just behind sister brand L’Oreal Paris, performing well in on-platform nonbranded search for complexion and color cosmetics terms.
10. KIKO Milano Digital IQ: 124
Maintaining a spot in the top ten, KIKO Milano performs well on desktop site, featuring a searchable FAQ page and a loyalty program—functionalities only offered by a respective 6% and 31% of DTC brands in the Index. The brand has a strong social presence across owned handles, seeing success on Instagram, increasing its score on the platform 14% year-over-year due to an increase in both total interactions and follower growth.