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Category: Technology Insights & News

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Case Study: Unveiling The Success Of Tinder

For the romantically unattached, the first few weeks of a new year are peak cuffing season. Cuffing, a pragmatic tradition in which single people try to find a temporary partner for the dark winter months, is also big business for dating apps. This year, the pandemic has added a dash of extra urgency. Cooped up, bored and lonely, user interactions on dating apps have soared over the past nine months. Swiping on potential romantic interests is one of the few activities unaffected by lockdowns – hence, become a huge opportunity for entrepreneurship. 

In this case study, let’s go to explore the intelligence behind the star of the dating show – Tinder:

  • The design tricks Tinder pulls out to the market.
  • Branding tips to promote your dating app.

1. What is Tinder?

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Tinder is a mobile dating application that matches prospective partners with one another through a novel interface and interaction design. Users of the app are presented with potential dates made up of suggestions from their friend’s social networks and other people using the service from the surrounding locale. 

After viewing a profile the user can either swipe left, dismissing the potential partner, or swipe right, suggesting interest in starting a conversation with the person. If the other person also swipes right on that user during their time using the app, the two people are “matched” where they can start a dialog, coordinate a date, etc. 

When a user opens Tinder, the app uses their last known location along with information regarding shared friends (via Facebook), interests, and networks to generate potential matches. Therefore, the more a user engages with Tinder, the better the app’s potential matches become.

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2. How successful is Tinder?

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The number says it all.

  • 6.7 million paying Tinder subscribers, as of Q4 2020 (Match)
  • Total Tinder users estimated at 66 million (Apptopia via Reuters)
  • 17% of US adults have used Tinder, rising to 52% of those aged 18-24 (CivicScience)
  • Other estimates find the highest US Tinder penetration among 30-44-year-olds, at 19%, compared to 15% of 18-29-year-olds, if we consider only current users (Morning Consult)
  • It is estimated that 72% of the US Tinder userbase is male, compared to 28% female (Statista)
  • 50% of UK Tinder users and 56% of those in the US use the app at least once every few days (Cast from Clay)
  • Tinder 2020 revenue came to $1.4 billion (Match)
  • Tinder accounted for 59% of total Match Group revenue of $2.4 billion (Match)
  • The US (40-43% over 2019-20) and the UK (5-8%) are the biggest contributors to Tinder revenue (Sensor Tower)

Regarding the financial/share performance of Tinder, it reported a record 3bn “swipes” in a single day in the second quarter of 2020. Shares in parent company Match, whose subsidiaries also include Hinge and OkCupid, traded at a record high in mid-December as it joined the Nasdaq 100. Rival Bumble has taken the opportunity to reportedly file for an initial public offering.  

Given the number of dating apps, it is a wonder there are any single people left. Around the world, the most popular include Badoo and eharmony but those with particular requirements can find niche sites like Christian Mingle or countryside-focused Muddy Matches. Clowns alone have their choice of two tailored apps: Clown Dating and Clown Passion. 

Facebook is also trying to muscle its way in, on the strength of its 2.7bn user base.  In the US, however, Tinder remains the app that defines online dating. Launched in 2012 in a start-up incubator backed by IAC and included in Match when it was spun out as a standalone company, it has driven its parent company’s growth. When Match listed in 2015 it priced its shares at $12 each. They now change hands for $153. 11m Number of Match subscribers. 

More than half use Tinder Success is down to Tinder’s relatively simple set-up. The company says that it dropped its Elo score, an unnerving system that rated user attractiveness based on how many people liked their profile and then showed them equally popular users. But it still matches on proximity and encourages users to swipe yes or no based on appearance rather than pretending to care about a date’s hobbies or interests. 

The result is that shares in Match now trade at 70 times expected earnings, according to Refinitiv data. To warrant that high it must continue to add paying subscribers when life returns to normal. Tinder, which accounts for more than half of Match’s 11m subscribers, has an offering that should do the trick: a subscription level that allows users to see who likes them. This lure has helped Tinder convert free users to subscribers. 

3. Breaking down the formula of Tinder’s success

3.1. App Design

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– Efficiency

When Tinder team developed the Swipe Right, they were probably thinking about the quickest way for users to get from Point A to Point B (seeing their matches). I would encourage all product designers to approach their user interface from a place of making things easier and more intuitive for your users. If the design, action, and flow are all based on what will be easiest and the most natural, users will stay on the app longer and engage with it more – and more frequently. At the same time, the app also has the buttons so that users can choose to tap to “Like” or “Nope” on a potential match. This means that there is minimal user education necessary. Gestures can be faster and more pleasurable, but Tinder wants training wheels when dealing with millions of people.

– Gamification

This is another way to make sure that users are having fun with the product, whether it’s helping them find a job, learning how to invest, or study. While Tinder’s ultimate goal is to help connect people with matches and develop meaningful relationships, the team wanted to make sure that it was still fun to use – both to take the pressure off and to make sure that users continue to have a good experience while they’re on the app.

– Simplicity

Tinder constantly makes small tweaks and updates to the interface to further streamline and simplify – this includes both the parts of the app that users see and interact with directly, as well as the infrastructure that powers the app itself. A lot of iterations are left on the cutting room floor. Since Tinder has users all over the world, we’re always looking for ways to make sure the Tinder experience translates well, and is intuitive, simple, and fun.

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3.2. Branding & Marketing

– Personalized Attention 

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Investing in online advertising, great content marketing, and branding are all worth it – but if you’re just launching your brand, it may be better to target your audience more specifically. 

For Tinder, their success started, arguably, by paying for a USC student’s birthday party, making it bigger and better than she could have expected, all in exchange for putting a bouncer at the door who refused to let anyone in unless they downloaded the app. They also went into coffee shops with lots of people in their demographic (20-30 year olds) and “talking loudly about the app.”

The take-home on this? Don’t discount the tried and true methods, especially when you’re first starting out. Marketing is mostly about trends, but if it gets feet in your proverbial (or digital) door, it’s worth the investment.

– UX Design

There are a lot of dating apps, websites, and services. The industry itself has been around nearly as long as civilization and the concept of marriage itself – there has always been a “busybody” in every social group that advised parents as to the best pairing for their children. 

Note, however, the evolution: while at the dawn of matchmaking, the best user experience interacted directly with the parents of the eligible young people, over time it has changed to be directly interactive with those who are seeking partners. With the advent of the internet and smartphones, the human component of the UX has all but entirely been removed.

Tinder has proven that, in addition to there no longer being a need for much human guidance, there is no longer a need for a hefty website, and users no longer tolerate long lapses in time between contact. Tinder has succeeded, in short, by being the first to recognize that today’s eligible singles are consumed with all of their other responsibilities and pastimes, and no longer wants to have to check an inbox and wait days for a response.

Tinder has succeeded by recognizing the need to expedite the entire process. If you want your brand to succeed, notice these same trends within your own industry. How can you make purchasing faster? How can you make your interface more engaging and easy to use? How can you be less stressful than your competitors?

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E-Commerce Case Study: Break Down Etsy Success

Etsy, a publicly traded e-commerce marketplace, focuses on connecting buyers to sellers of handcrafted and vintage goods. While notably smaller than the popular e-commerce sites like Amazon or Alibaba, Etsy lives in a slightly different space, carving itself out as a leader among the artist-made and handmade goods marketplace, connecting 2.5 million sellers with nearly 46 million buyers, according to Statista.

In this article, we will unfold the key success factors behind Etsy and take some important e-commerce learning points home with us.

1. Value Creation

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Etsy has found a way to create and capture immense value for a variety of reasons. It chose to narrow its product offerings – by only offering handcrafted and vintage goods they were able to carve out a niche and brand for themselves that the Amazons and Alibabas couldn’t beat (as those companies would never be able to claim the title of “the #1 place to go to for artist-made goods”). 

On top of that, Etsy creates great value for both sides of its marketplace – sellers and buyers at the same time.

“The heart and soul of Etsy is our global community: the creative entrepreneurs who use Etsy to sell what they make or curate, the shoppers looking for things they can’t find anywhere else, the manufacturers who partner with Etsy sellers to help their individual businesses grow, and the Etsy employees who maintain and nurture our marketplace” – About Etsy 

For sellers, Etsy offers a way for artists to earn a living, sell their goods globally, connect with a community of other artists, and create a personal brand (e.g. building a virtual “store”). It also develops a customized help center which plays as a knowledge hub for small business owners and independent sellers to learn tips and tricks that help boost their stores’ performances. On another hand, in terms of buyers, Etsy offers the largest variety of handmade goods, delivery from anywhere in the world, and personalized recommendations through Etsy’s algorithms. 

Etsy also offers additional services, in which some are for free, others for a charge, that include easy communication with sellers, conduct the transaction on the platform, access to ratings and reviews and so on.

Based on those values and interactions, Etsy is able to build its smart revenue model: It charges sellers a listing fee and a commission and upsells advertising services such as SEO of a seller’s items to reach more customers.

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2. Social Responsibility

Etsy engages in the mission that is to empower micro-entrepreneurs with a voice against local and federal government. That said, Etsy has gone on the advocacy front in order to assist small entrepreneurs who specialize in creative and crafting – the extent to which only a few businesses dare to do.

Etsy has a dedicated team in the U.S. and Europe that focuses on advocating for policy reforms that make it easier for sellers and other microentrepreneurs to do businesses. In September 2016, Etsy brought dozens of sellers to Washington D.C. to meet face-to-face with congress members on the issues that directly affect their businesses.

They also take progressive stances on pressing issues, such as their proposals to create economic security for all, especially those who fall outside the traditional employer-employee relationship. This has not only proven the company’s commitment to a better society, but also a call for more entrepreneurs to join their network – as they know Etsy would probably do anything in its power to protect their benefits and rights.

3. Technology

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Being an e-commerce platform provider, Etsy’s major success lies in its relationship with technology. In an interview with TechCrunch, Etsy’s CTO at the time – Kellan Elliott-McCrea shares that the company wants to have as much control as possible over every aspect of the technology stack. While it doesn’t make its own hardware as Facebook does, it does carefully analyze each technology decision.

“One thing that’s inevitable is change. We haven’t figured out every solution and probably will never do. Sometimes the things we think are true will be wrong the next day, and vice versa.” Elliott-McCrea said. And that’s why Etsy is determined to build learning into its technology and committed to innovate its processes without end.

3.1. Advance in buying and selling software

Following such a commitment, Etsy makes programmers one of the biggest portions in its headcount.These programmers are in charge of maintaining Etsy’s website, but also for increasing its usability. E-commerce sites invest huge amounts of money to make sure that their websites are usable for their consumers and encourage those consumers to buy more. 

Specifically, Etsy’s website ensures ease of use for sellers to get their products online through various online optimization initiatives. Certain aspects of Etsy’s website are also customizable for sellers that want to make their online shops more personalized to their businesses. As technology evolves, this personalization could be an important differentiation between Etsy and other websites that offer sellers the ability to have their own stores online.

3.2. Investment in machine learning

Creating a platform that enables shoppers to navigate more than 40 million unique listings – which all contain unstructured data – creates complex challenges, especially when it comes to building an engaging and effective search experience. This is why Etsy has invested to expand machine learning capabilities.

“In 2015 we made discovery easier with Exploratory Search, a feature that creates a more visual and engaging experience, particularly on mobile and allows shoppers to browse across various categories. This enhancement increased click-through rates by 10%”

In September 2016, Etsy acquired Blackbird Technologies, a team heavy into Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence. “We plan to leverage their advanced technology to deliver even more relevant search results and a shopping experience that can be even more tailored to individual buyers”.

3.3. Additional merchant services 

One of the more recent advances that Etsy has put into place is the use of its credit card reader service. This service has an additional cost, much like any brick-and-mortar retailer would have to pay. This enables buyers to purchase goods easier, but it also puts some pressure on sellers, as this service comes at additional cost to the seller. This cost can be included in the price of the product, but that would take the seller changing the price for all of that product instead of one instance of the product. 

For example, if a seller has a quantity of five of one item, the price needs to change on the whole listing, whether or not one of the quantity is being sold in person using the credit reader. This means the cost has to be absorbed somewhere else, or the seller needs to make a new listing for the in-person sale. Of course, Etsy gets paid for every new listing, so to some extent this is intentional on behalf of Etsy to generate additional earnings from its merchant services. Up till now, this strategy is still effective to Etsy’s model.  

3.4. Convenient distribution channels 

One of the supposed advantages of buying online is the fact that it eliminates many of the costs of distribution. In a traditional store, the item has to be made at a manufacturer, shipped to a wholesaler, shipped from that wholesaler to a store, and from there to the consumer. The price of this shipment and the rates at which the manufacturer and wholesaler sell goods and services falls onto the consumer. In an online store, originally, the middleman was cut out.

Today, big box stores like Amazon have wholesalers contracted to sell the items, so the cost of that again falls on the consumer. There is simply more negotiation of prices between Amazon and wholesalers because they have choices from which wholesaler to choose from. This has never been the case with Etsy, because Etsy sells products directly from an artist to a consumer through a nearly automated online process.

In a time before e-commerce, big-name artists would go through a gallery as if the gallery were the wholesaler, but local artisans would simply sell locally. Etsy caters more towards those local artisans than big-name artists that are represented by a gallery, so again this is not an issue that applies to Etsy, though it applies to many e-commerce websites.

3.5. Improve social media presence

Etsy has a huge social media following, simply because it promotes small web-based businesses that already rely on social media for marketing. Etsy has been trying to compete on other mobile and social technologies, such as mobile purchases and purchases linked through other websites, including Facebook. Thereby, Etsy began developing apps for mobile devices by separating the development teams into mobile and web and decided to distribute mobile responsibility across the team instead of isolating it to come up with more efficient initiatives and compete better.

Anyhow, the advancement is not only technology but also strategy has increased the social media access of Etsy, without any shadow of a doubt.

3.6. Implement lean technological process

Another way Etsy drives the commitment to technological efficiency is by limiting the number of tools it uses as a company. It would rather be the master of few tools than have a broad knowledge across many different ones. They said in an interview:

“We want to give people the time and space to really go deep and to understand these tools. That means being able to pop open the hood and look inside and make changes and not run into a wall where you can’t fix a bug in the kernel or database”

They also came to explain: “We are a strong PHP shop. We used to use a wide variety of technologies, now we use a handful. We use PHP, JavaScript, Scala, but we went from a large number of languages to a small number of languages – and we are really good at PHP,” he explained.

One thing this level of expertise has allowed them to do is to partner with Facebook (another big PHP shop) to help transfer a significant piece of its internal infrastructure to the Hip Hop Virtual Machine (HHVM), which improves performance and speeds up coding and development when using PHP.

Elliott-McCrea, Etsy’s CTO at the time, reports that his company is now a major contributor to HHVM because the expertise it has built up allowing it to be fully involved in its development.

“We don’t treat technology as something off the rack. It’s about mastering your tools and that’s something that’s a recurring theme, and again mastering your tools, improving them and then giving back,” he said.

To that end, Etsy has built and contributed many tools to open source – much like Netflix, Facebook, and Google. This not only allows others to take advantage of those tools but also potentially to improve upon them.

4. Sustainability

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We have done a lot talking about the strategy, the model, and the technology that crafts Etsy’s success in a market full of giant corporations like Amazon and Alibaba. But the question is: How sustainable is Etsy’s model? 

Several factors definitely work in its favor. For example, by providing free shipping from sellers around the world, Etsy was able to build a strong global cluster; this drew more sellers and users and deepened the moat against competitors as Etsy made it hard to break into that type of network. 

Etsy has also done a decent job of de-risking disintermediation. They’ve done so by offering many add-on services to sellers (advertising, the ability to open a virtual shop and so on) and invested in technology and resources to create a better shopping and selling experience. 

While Etsy has a pretty negligible cost of adding more users while decreasing its barriers to entry, it has found itself with a high repeat buyer rate. By focusing on high-quality user experience, Etsy has established itself as the place to go to buy/sell these types of goods.

More so, Etsy has also been accelerated by the pandemic. During the pandemic and the large-scale lockdown, lots of people needing masks start turning to online e-commerce platforms to make purchases. And Etsy, being a market for such things, surges at an aggressive rate. This is not a one-time bump, however, but potentially more sustainable, making Etsy competitive in the long-run. In its 2020 Q3 Earnings Call, their mere growth from sales on their platform was nearly 150%, in which the non-mask sales (all things that aren’t related to masks) remain growing over 93%. Therefore, even taking the very clear immediate impact of mask sales out of Etsy’s business, it is still a really strong platform. 

Etsy had been a strong business before the pandemic and it’s going to be a strong one after.

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5. Case Recap

The success recipe of Etsy comes from 3 important pillars: value creation, social responsibility and application of technology.

Value creation
  • Narrowing product offerings to artist-made goods.
  • Serving parallel benefits for both sellers and buyers.
  • Offering multiple additional services such as ease of communication with sellers, on-platform-transactions, access to ratings and reviews, etc
Social responsibility
  • Empower micro-entrepreneurs with a voice against the local and federal government by taking progressive stances on pressing issues and making effort in solving the problems (crafting a proposal on economic security, meeting with congress members,…).
Technology
  • Upgrade buying and selling software with high usability.
  • Investing in machine learning via acquisitions.
  • Offering excellent merchant services through credit card readers.
  • Designing convenient distribution channels.
  • Improving social media presence by competing head-to-head with other mobile applications.
  • Keeping all processes lean by focusing on only a handful of languages that belong to Etsy’s expertise.

Such success is predicted to be sustainable, especially after the boost of COVID-19:

  • Provide free shipping from sellers around the world, thus building a strong global cluster and drawing more sellers and users → Deepen the moat against competitors.
  • De-risking disintermediation by offering many add-on services to sellers, investing in technology and resources to create a better shopping and selling experience → High repeat buyer rate.
  • The pandemic accelerates mask purchases, which will potentially be translated into other non-mask buyers in the future.

In case you are looking for a partner to equip you with top-notch e-commerce initiatives, feel free to contact us – a tech consultant who has been in the industry for 11 years and has been verified for a creative mindset, strong commitment, and outstanding skills. We promise to not only deliver the best social app ideas to accelerate your business but are also capable of translating those initiatives into a seamless and competitive final product.

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How L’Oréal Leads Beauty With Digital Transformation

As a digital-first company, L’Oréal put digital at the service of consumers but also of its teams to meet today’s challenges, arouse interest in a world of hyper-connectivity, and build relationships based on trust. Putting such philosophy at the core of its business, L’Oréal has indeed left magnificent marks on the digital playground, which can be explained by the corporate’s futuristic vision, strategic planning, and seamless go-to-market execution. 

From bricks to clicks

The L’Oréal Group is the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company. According to 2021 Annual Results – L’Oréal Finance, 2021 was “A historic year: +16.1% growth,
twice the beauty market growth”.

Since 1925, the group built a strong portfolio of brands, including La Roche Posay, Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris, Vichy, Garnier, Maybelline,…and positioned them through traditional magazine covers and TV ads, pushing consumers to walk-in retail stores, try and buy their products.

Since then, L’Oreal has become arguably the most digitally innovative beauty company in the world. Armed with the mission to integrate digital into the heart of its business model to reinforce its edge in the beauty market, L’Oreal has undergone a major transformation over the past few years.

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Beauty and digital media – A perfect match 

In 2012, foreseeing their future challenges, the company launched its “Connected Beauty Incubator” based in the US, a division within the company’s research division dedicated entirely to technological innovation and industry disruption.

L’Oréal carefully studied their consumers and learned early on that their target market was constantly connected, underwent a research process including many touchpoints, and was turning to video content to search for beauty solutions and see products come to life.

It is hard to change the nature of beauty products, but reaching and engaging consumers became a great opportunity for innovation. We can say that L’Oréal knows how to explore their business through the digital transformation race in the world.
Nicolas Hieronimus, Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal, said: “In 2021, we again extended our digital lead: e-commerce grew by +25.7%, accounting for 28.9% of sales.
So, how could L’Oreal do that? Let’s find out.

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How is L’Oreal transforming beauty?

1. Structure

As most consumer packaged goods companies, marketing, sales, and product development divisions had been largely distinct silos within the company. The first step towards integrating digital in the business model was redesigning the organization to align objectives. Also, approximately 3,000 tech professionals are in 20 research centers across 11 countries around the world.

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Perhaps the major step towards their commitment to digital was appointing their first Chief Digital Officer in 2014 as a member of the company’s executive committee. This role aimed to lead digital strategy and innovation across divisions and brands, ranging from content marketing, personalization and data, and E-commerce. 

2. E-Commerce

L’Oréal has developed a set of E-commerce solutions. In the last few years, the company’s websites have been transformed to create new experiences. Today, this move to online purchasing is accelerating. Therefore, L’Oréal is rolling out E-commerce for their brands with different strategies depending on the target market, whose major purpose is “to go even further in terms of availability, and to help customers find the right products on their favorite platforms”.

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The right digital strategy has led L’Oréal E-commerce to a strong boost | Source: Financial Times

In digitally developed countries, L’Oréal has created partnerships with some major names in E-commerce, a.k.a local market leaders, from America’s Amazon to China’s Alibaba. In other markets, e-commerce is being developed using distributor partners and brand sites.

Furthermore, in several such countries, like China, more than one in every two products is now sold online, a pattern that is increasingly being driven by social media networks. This is L’Oréal’s effort in leading the digital tomorrow, as they slowly turn part of their business to “social commerce” – the so-called future of beauty.

L’Oréal is also using frontier technologies such as AI and AR into their E-commerce solutions. One of its well-known brands, Vichy, has launched an AI-based solution called Vichy SkinConsult AI, leveling up its E-commerce game. Vichy teamed up with 12 dermatologists to create a science-based, skin-care-focused algorithm powered by artificial intelligence to diagnose the skin and accurately recommend suitable skin solutions. With just a single selfie, SkinConsult AI compares customers’ skin against a database, identifies anti-aging concerns, and provides them with a customized, anti-aging routine – in minutes.

Finding the right skin type is the first step in the shopping journey, and SkinConsult AI has really taken a step further in simplifying it. It not only tells customers which skin of skin they have but also generates a personalized skin-care routine, for morning and night, based on the results. Plus, everything is shoppable right there on the site, making the purchasing journey linear and convenient. By digitalizing the solutions, Vichy – or L’Oréal has won customers from the very first touchpoint.

3. Data & Product development

L’Oréal realizes that for most of the customers, the purchase journey starts online as they search for reviews and recommendations. Such a finding then brings beauty brands a thrilling mission: pay attention to what customers search for and watch to serve customers right at their first touchpoints. What content do consumers search and watch? What are they more interested in? What interactions trigger other actions and/or sales? As such, L’Oréal started to create robust mechanisms to extract and analyze consumer data as they expand their digital capabilities.

For example, in 2014, L’Oréal analyzed Google search trends and discovered that in the middle of the “ombre” hair color trend, consumers were trying to find ways to do this at home with hair color products – instead of going to hair salons, and lacked a specialized application tool. L’Oréal was quick to respond and take this new technique to consumer’s homes, launching a L’Oréal Paris Féria Wild Ombré, an at-home hair-dyeing kit, made specifically for Ombre enthusiasts who pursue economy. It was available in 5 different tones to match all kinds of hair colors from light to dark. Each kit is equipped with a plastic brush to help customers get the shift in shade just right. 

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L’Oréal Paris custom solution for DIY Ombre hair, ideated from Google Trend data

This product launch was a great success, contributing up to 50% of the hair color category’s revenue.

Another best practice is Garnier Shade Finder. Based on consumer research that identifies the ability to find the right shade as the number one product-related barrier to the category, in 2019, Garnier has teamed up with ModiFace, an AR beauty company L’Oréal acquired, to develop the Shade Selector Tool – a hair color try-on app. The app allows users to find the right Garnier shade based on her current hair condition and desired end look and allows her to try shades prior to purchasing, eliminating a lot of the hesitations associated with the at-home hair coloring experience as consumers can now get a realistic idea of the end result.

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The Shade Selector Tool begins with a one-minute diagnostic test, during which people answer questions about the current status of their hair and its health, such as whether their hair is already colored or they’ve had other treatments. The tool takes into account the natural color, the percentage of gray coverage, previous hair color, and what the customer wants the result to be.

Once the consumer answers the questions in the virtual Shade Selector tool, it calculates all of the brands under the Garnier umbrella that meet the customer’s criteria. The tool only recommends shades that the customer will qualify for, so it takes the guesswork out and simplifies the shopping process. When the user decides which shade they would like to virtually try on, the camera will capture him/her and calibrate the shade for the current look. It makes the selection process easier and allows the consumer to see the results through the tool before committing to the shade live.

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4. Personalization

Because of mobile, consumers now have a personal stylist, hairdresser, and makeup artist right at their fingertips, 24/7. To make sure L’Oréal is available whenever customers need, the company offers more than just customized products. It commits to deliver personalized digital experience, to attract, engage, and retain the customers.

In 2015, L’Oréal launched Makeup Genius, a mobile app that allows consumers to virtually try on makeup. The app scans a customer’s face, analyzes more than 60 characteristics, then virtually displays how various products and shade mixes can be used to achieve different looks, in real-time. Consumers can select a look they like and directly order the right products with just the press of a button. As the app tracks how the customer uses it and what they buy, it learns their preferences, makes inferences based on similar customers’ choices and tailors its responses. 

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Makeup Genius emerged as a groundbreaking digital solution in 2015

The important takeaway is that the company didn’t build Makeup Genius to mirror its mobile commerce experience. The app is a unique asset both as a branded channel for engaging with customers and as a “fire hose” of incoming information about how customers engage. It allows stakeholders to understand the needs of loyal users and tailor meaningful, assistive experiences for them.

Due to the high level of technology integration as well as personalization, the app was even compared to a revolution in the beauty industry at that moment. 

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5. Purchasing convenience

Let’s recall those examples. The intelligence of L’Oréal is that they can “think things through” and enable several functionalities within one application to turn the solution holistic and the shopping experience of customers fulfilled. As in Makeup Genius, apart from the “scan the face” part, the app also allows consumers to scan products in-store, see the details in the app, experience how they would look on themselves, and finally complete the purchase through the app at any time, avoiding lines in congested stores and improving the overall shopping experience.

Or, in the case of Garnier Shade Finder Tool, the technology is not only used online but also in the hair color aisle at the store, where Beauty Advisors are available to offer assistance and feedback in stores. All of these digital products and strategies are designated to turn the purchasing experience into a seamless and comfortable journey. 

L’Oreal’s Digital Transformation

According to the Harvard Business Review, L’Oreal’s digital transformation began in earnest in 2012 with the launch of its “Connected Beauty Incubator.” Now known as the “L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator,” the center of expertise COE is devoted towards developing new, technology-enabled beauty products and experiences.

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For example, they developed an augmented reality (AR) powered mirror app that allows people to try on makeup virtually using their smartphone. They also developed a new makeup device that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to customize makeup on demand, Perso. Set to be released this year, Perso collects and leverages real-time data to create its formulations. According to the L’Oreal website, the 4 key areas it looks at are:

Personal skin analysis: The user opens the Perso mobile app and takes a photo with their smartphone camera. Utilizing L’Oréal-owned ModiFace technology, the app uses AI to analyze the user’s overall skin condition—including deep wrinkles, fine lines, the appearance of dark spots, and pore visibility.

Environmental assessment: Using Breezometer geo-location data, Perso assesses local environmental conditions that can influence the state of the user’s skin, including weather, temperature, pollen, UV index, and humidity.

Product preference: The user then enters their personal skincare concerns into the Perso app, including fine lines, dark spots, pigmentation, pore size, radiance, and dullness. The user can also input preferred texture and hydration-level to further customize their unique formula of moisturizer, serum, and under-eye cream.

Custom formulation and dispensing: This collective data informs the creation of a personalized blend of high-performance skincare, dispensed in a perfectly portioned, single dose at the top of the device for easy, clean application. The technology adjusts for morning and evening application, and the device features a detachable mirrored top so consumers have the option of taking a single or larger dose with them on-the-go.

Learn More On: Software Project Estimation: The First & Foremost Step To Success

In Summary…

It’s no accident that L’Oreal is the world’s #1 beauty and personal care brand. Unlike many of their competitors, they saw the writing on the digital wall early and pounced on it, disrupting the disruptors before too much damage was done.
At over 100 years old, it’s safe to assume that L’Oreal had its fair share of silos and legacy systems they had to contend with back in 2012. However, they did not let the old ways of doing things stand in the way of innovation. Instead, L’Oreal serves as a shining example of how speed and agility in the face of change can lead to incredible success down the line.

Savvycom – Your Trusted Tech Partner

From Tech Consulting, End-to-End Product Development to IT Outsourcing Services! Since 2009, Savvycom has been harnessing the power of Digital Technologies that support business’ growth across the variety of industries. We can help you to build high-quality software solutions and products as well as deliver a wide range of related professional services.

Savvycom is right where you need. Contact us now for further consultation:

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  • Google: Google started as a simple search engine but has since become a massive organization offering hardware and software services in addition to its advertising services with employees distributed around the world. Today Google is almost a proverb for the internet itself. Its name has become a verb used by everyone when talking about searching online.
  • Alibaba: When talking about online eCommerce firms, several names come to mind. You have Amazon and eBay, of course, but a company that has quickly come to the fore is Alibaba. Alibaba is another example of companies that outsources. Still, unlike Amazon and eBay, Alibaba is based in China, which makes the challenges of outsourcing somewhat different.
  • WhatsApp: When thinking about companies that outsource, WhatsApp is an excellent example of outsourcing as it has been doing it from the very beginning. As early as 2012, WhatsApp was a small organization with only 30 full-time employees and five part-timers. Based out of Mountain View, California, they understood that they needed to keep costs down if they wanted to grow.
  • Apple: However, while Apple designs excellent products, it does not make or manufacture them all by itself. Apple is another example of a company that outsources. It depends on multiple partners in the US, Asia, and the Far East to produce hardware and services. In some cases, these relationships go back decades. By outsourcing its supply chain and manufacturing facilities, Apple can focus on its core strength – designing great products that people like to use.

At Savvycom, we recommend mapping out your Outsourcing strategy before reaching out to vendors. Currently, these are the 03 most popular IT Outsourcing Models: Full Process Outsourcing, Dedicated Teams, and Staff Augmentation.

Vendor Selection Criteria – 08 Critical Things to Consider

Every successful organization and business understands the importance of investing & outsourcing. However, spending money isn’t always an easy decision that all business owners can make. As a result, you may have to hold off on making that vital business investment for quite some time that could potentially damage your own company in the long run. 2022 is just around the corner, and it’s now time to maybe upgrade your phone system, redesign your website, replace the carpet in your office, or find yourself a new Tech Partner that could take your business to a whole new level.

If you are still wondering how to choose the perfect partner, then worry not because Savvycom is here to help. As we go over all the unforgettable Vendor Selection Criteria to answer your burning question: Who do I hire for the job?

What Is Vendor Assessment? Why?

To keep this short and precise, Vendor assessment is an evaluation and approval process that businesses often use to determine if prospective vendors and suppliers can meet their organizational standards and obligations once under contract. The end goal is to secure a low-risk, best-in-class vendor and supplier portfolio.

At Savvycom, we are always on the case of evolving our services. The development team has regular technological updates that revolve around technology stack, languages, frameworks, etc., which minimizes loss and maximizes gain for our clients. As one of the most prestigious and trusted tech partners in Vietnam, we pride ourselves in providing our clients with only the best services in IT Outsourcing & Tech Solutions.

1. Price

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It doesn’t really matter what you are doing; whether it is about hiring a professional or outsourcing, your end goal should always be to get the maximum value for the lowest possible cost or at least it should be a cost accepted by both you and the vendor.

As the business owner, you should be wary of vendors who submit estimates far lower than others most of the time. You may receive less than good products or services. Or, you may end up paying more than the estimated cost in fees that weren’t part of the quote.

Communicating is also the key to prospects to the full extent of your needs, so you receive an accurate bid. And remember to stick to your original goals and requirements; otherwise, you may end up buying a Ferrari when a Mustang would suffice.

At Savvycom, our team highly value transparency above all, and we give our clients detailed estimations for each scope of work to avoid miscommunication across all parties. If you are on the look for an ideal Tech Partner, why not give us a go! It’s always free to send us an email or give us a call.

Never Miss A Deadline With Savvycom?

Contact us for a free consultation on Software Development and you will get all of the insights from our professional technical perspectives. Our Developers will advise you on the best approaches to the development process, as well as roughly estimate your project concept cost.

2. Quality of Product or Service

The price tag doesn’t really matter if the product or service is in poor shape. Be sure to ask for samples of the vendor’s previous work, where applicable.

For instance, if you hire a company to build you a brand new website or mobile app, ask for a list of other projects they completed and take a field trip to see if the finished job meets your expectations.

When hiring professionals for team augmentation or outsourcing, remember to ask about employee training.

If the vendor does not emphasise training, you may want to think hard before selecting them.

3. Flexibility & Delivery Time

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All businesses need to change their orders sometimes, and if your vendor heavily penalizes you for doing this, then perhaps they are not the one for you, and you need to move on with selecting a vendor.

Additionally, the time of delivery is also an essential aspect. Having a clear timeline for each scope of work is what you’ll be looking for, and if your vendor does not have a project manager, you should also consider looking for a better one.

4. Check References

Hiring a vendor is the same as hiring an employee in many ways. Most people would not employ a worker without checking references, and you should not make that mistake when making a big decision like selecting a vendor.

Require each vendor to submit a list of applicable references. If a vendor hesitates, that should raise a red flag.

Then make sure you call or email those references and ask questions politely, such as:

  • Was the vendor punctual for appointments?
  • Were their employees professional?
  • Were you comfortable with the employees who came to your business?
  • How would you rate the quality of their products or services?
  • If something went wrong, how did they handle the situation?
  • Would you contact them again for future cooperation?

Just like we said at the beginning, one of our top goals at Savvycom is to make sure transparency exist between both our team and the clients, if you are already at this step, then feel free to ask us anything!

5. Customer Service

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Companies with a reputation will likely take good care of you before, during and after the contract end. As mentioned above, references are invaluable. Be on the lookout to request vendor referrals from people whose opinions you trust.

But keep in mind that we are living in a digital age. Companies and businesses with poor customer experiences may receive their frustrations online, and a simple Internet search can uncover this kind of feedback.

Do a Google search “[vendor name] reviews”. You may be surprised at what you find – both good and bad!

6. Professional Employees

Think of it this way, a vendor represents your organization, and their employees do the same thing. However, this is perhaps the most challenging factor to check since each person is different, and you don’t have a long time to evaluate that specific person you hired. The interest in technical skills is always a must, but people skills cannot be overlooked. In this case, be sure to have a detailed list of questions beforehand and interview the person before deciding you should hire them later on.

7. Professional Leader

A ship that set sailed can only pass through the storm under the guidance of an excellent and strong-willed captain. Seriously, try imagining Facebook without Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft without Bill Gates or Tesla without Elon Musk. Other than looking and evaluating a vendor’s crewmate, you should take into account their captain as well. And here at Savvycom, we have always been proud to have a talented leader alongside us for over a decade. Vietnam’s most influential Woman in Stem – Ms Van Dang (Savvycom CEO & Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentor and Asia Society-Victoria Distinguished Fellow)

8. Recommendations from Others

Word of mouth is always a great way to find a vendor if everything else is equal. Keep in mind that you can always ask the people in your circle of trust, your LinkedIn connections, the members of your professional organizations and the people you attend business conferences with who they use in similar situations. People will share honest opinions and often answer your need based on a similar experience.

Looking To Find A Trusted Tech Partner?

Tech Consulting, End-to-End Product Development, Cloud & DevOps Service! Since 2009, Savvycom has been harnessing digital technologies for the benefit of businesses, mid and large enterprises, and startups across the variety of industries. We can help you to build high-quality software solutions and products as well as deliver a wide range of related professional services.

Savvycom is right where you need. Contact us now for further consultation:

  • Phone: +84 24 3202 9222
  • Hotline: +1 408 663 8600 (US); +612 8006 1349 (AUS); +84 32 675 2886 (VN)
  • Email: [email protected]

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