Hong Kong


The Digital Revolution

Digital commerce is the fastest-growing channel for prestige beauty sales, as consumers access the brands they covet online, on their smartphones and through social media platforms. Our first e-commerce sites were launched in 1996, for Clinique and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics — under the leadership of William P. Lauder — considerably ahead of the curve. This would be the start of a revolution within the Company, as High-Touch service was brought to the online world.

Today, we are the number one prestige beauty company on major retailer websites in the United States and the United Kingdom. Digital commerce continues to drive double-digit sales growth in both established and emerging markets, where mobile is the dominant platform for online shopping.

Screenshot of the Clinique website

Each of our brands develops its unique digital footprint, and they learn from each other. For example, when Clinique launched a flagship store on Tmall, the Chinese-language shopping platform, it attracted more than 100,000 new consumers to the brand in the first year. Many of the consumers were from smaller Chinese cities where we have little or no distribution, and they were introduced to the brand on Tmall. Building on that success, Estée Lauder, Origins and other brands launched their own Tmall stores.

The Way Consumers Shop Now: An Omnichannel Approach

One of the largest and most significant forces transforming our industry is the rise of the millennials. These savvy consumers, born between 1980 and 2000, are widely considered to be the first "digital natives." They expect a seamless shopping experience across the brick-and-mortar, online and mobile worlds.

For them, lines between information, communication, entertainment, commerce and socializing do not exist. They instantly share perspectives and seek advice not only from friends but from an ever-changing and expanding base of experts, particularly when it comes to beauty. As a result, they are continually experimenting and searching for new experiences, while also seeking out authentic brand stories.

Reaching these consumers where and when they like to shop is what drives our omnichannel strategy. We’re harmonizing our online capabilities with our retail presence to provide shoppers with a seamless experience across multiple channels — perhaps discovering our products on a blog, reading reviews and sharing comments on social platforms, sampling products in a store and then purchasing them online. Consumers are at the center of this retail journey, and we aim to help them make the best personal connection with our brands.

We continue to invest in innovative digital marketing and social media campaigns to increase consumer engagement with our brands. Digital storytelling platforms enhance shopping experiences by providing content and information across a wide variety of touch points, allowing for a seamless multichannel experience.

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