Cultivating the Best to Come with Others


Estee Lauder

meeting consumers where they are

Estee Lauder, Inc. Domestic

New Interactive In-Store Experience

Consumer Experience Innovation Consultant

The impact of the internet on the traditional department store beauty space can’t be over-emphasized. Decisions once dictated by stocked inventory, friendly advice or the allure of a wafting sandalwood scent are now made via online review & YouTube 'best of' or ‘how to’ videos.  Not only are consumers much more readily exposed to increased content availability & global beauty trends –more than anything their busier schedules are driving protection of ‘me time’.  The advent of subscription models like Birchbox have proved hugely disruptive, removing the need for trips into the store entirely, not to mention creating an indulgent unboxing moment at home.

This increasing loss of foot traffic to online sales, prompted Head of Creative at Lauder to explore concepts that could entice EL customers back into the store, as well as engage potentially new ones already shopping for other items. His goal was to develop a user-rich experience you could only get at the counter, featuring proprietary content that educates about the product & brand, highlights influencer endorsements plus tips of the trade & promotes connection with service reps –toward emphasizing the value of ‘hands-on’ care over anonymous, unsupported transactions online.

With strategy around ‘meeting the customer where they are’, I recommended a cross-platform approach, integrating the in-store experience with their online platform in some way, potentially integrating it with an augmented reality approach to testing product. A virtual make-up application experience could be assisted by beauty reps at the counter, & also translated as an digital-app experience online. In addition, I recommended development of the in-store experience as a HD screen loaded with responsive touchscreen technology, which could be adapted to integrate along the counter, adjacent to dedicated [distortion] product display, or as a separate table-like fixture located in a primary circulation pathway. This physical infrastructure investment could ultimately run any content developed into the future. 

Informants around the actual user-experience were made for both the: 1] frame of reference > creating quick-study options developed inspired by classic fashion lookbooks crossed with customization experiences like Polyvore online, spin-art/kaleidoscopic experiences & an ‘under the sea’ motif, plus 2] content curation strategies > utilizing science-based product technology best-practices, fashion influencer & celebrity stories, brand heritage narratives & integration of segment interest-based thematics.