Avon could quickly be calling you into retailers and live-streamed purchasing occasions in addition to at your entrance door because the cosmetics and skincare model strikes on from the doorstep into the digital age.
The corporate, which was based in New York 135 years in the past by travelling e-book salesman David H McConnell, needed to remodel itself through the pandemic when a conventional “ding dong, Avon calling” from its 5 million gross sales representatives was not welcome.
Avon girls – and males – now referred to as reps, are educated in a collection of digital instruments to allow them to ship out brochures and accumulate orders by way of social media. Merchandise are delivered instantly by Avon relatively than its reps.
Now 30% of the corporate’s gross sales contacts are made on-line within the UK, up from lower than 10% earlier than the pandemic. Throughout the group, on-line gross sales are actually practically 3 times pre-pandemic ranges.
Angela Cretu, the chief government of Avon, says the corporate desires to grow to be totally “omni-channel”, linking totally different strategies of promoting from shops to the doorstep, over the subsequent three years.
She makes clear that reps will stay on the coronary heart of the group’s plans, whether or not that’s working small boutiques, promoting on-line or, probably, creating retailers in shops.
“Even with probably the most subtle digital expertise and AI and social information crunching you by no means get, from digital, the friendship and contact and intimate data you want while you purchase magnificence,” she says. “We’d like personalised service, one thing that goes past the traditional service you’d get over-the-counter.”
This week, Avon tried a Fb Dwell occasion within the UK, giving coaching to reps and testing out promoting merchandise to them. The trial run, led by Avon’s in-house staff, is meant to result in reps within the UK promoting by way of such strategies with customers in a position to click on on their screens to purchase the merchandise being demonstrated. Comparable occasions have already been tried in Turkey.
The transfer is an try and broaden Avon’s enchantment to a youthful viewers attracted by means of digital promoting.
The pandemic, throughout which many ladies discovered their jobs have been not potential as retailers, eating places and colleges closed, spurred a wider array of individuals to strive direct promoting to make up their earnings.
Attraction to millennials, who are sometimes involved about environmental and social credentials of a model, has additionally been boosted by Avon’s acquisition in 2019 by Natura, the Brazilian magnificence group which additionally owns the UK’s Physique Store and Australia’s Aesop, and which has signed up Avon to a number of environmental and social commitments.
Avon has launched a small vary of vegan merchandise, ditched all testing on animals in 2019, and pledged to make all of its packaging recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030, for instance.
Cretu says Avon is studying from Natura, which has tailored its core model from direct promoting throughout Latin America to opening its personal shops and dealing with companions together with Amazon and the French division retailer chain Printemps.
Avon has been experimenting with boutiques and rep-led shops for about 18 months in Turkey, the place there are actually 21 retailers, and Malaysia. This week it additionally opened a company-run flagship retailer in Shanghai, China.
Cretu says there is no such thing as a date for bringing such concepts to the UK, however says Avon is eager to search out its personal approach of hitting the excessive road.
“It’s important that we’re not going to be product on a shelf. We wish a particular product expertise like Aesop or the Physique Store have, not simply centered on a product transaction,” she says.