INTERNATIONAL. Luxasia Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Wolfgang Baier delivered an enlightening keynote address on the future of omnichannel beauty at the Knowledge Hub of Beauty Tech Live.
Dr. Baier has helped develop the company’s omnichannel services and transform it into a leading beauty distributor in the Asia Pacific region.
He has also enhanced Luxasia’s ecommerce and digital capabilities and implemented a consumer analytics-led approach to both its physical and online sales and marketing strategies.
Dispelling the mystique and jargon surrounding omnichannel, Baier defined what omnichannel means today and outlined Luxasia’s own hugely successful approach. He said, “Omnichannel means giving a 360-degree experience for consumers, where they can access all points of sale in parallel and have the ability to interact without losing data. This is where the future of beauty ecommerce lies.”
According to Baier, omnichannel needs to be the priority for businesses looking to gain an edge in the new retail landscape. “You need to set a clear vision and strategy and invest in the right building blocks. It’s all about going on an omnichannel learning journey. You have to fail fast, to learn fast.”
Luxasia began its omnichannel journey five years ago, a journey which has resulted in the company growing at twice the rate of the market. “Five years ago, omnichannel became our priority. We changed our company vision, stopped talking about traditional marketing and even changed our vocabulary,” he said.
“Fast forward to today, and we grew from a brick & mortar-focused retailer into a e-beauty retailer with an omni-distribution platform. This journey resulted in two-times the market growth for Luxasia.”
So, what are the building blocks of a successful omnichannel approach? According to Baier it’s a combination of omni-brand building, strong ecommerce partnerships, consumer-centric retail operations, digital front-liners, social and digital conversion and consumer data analytics.
Baier also breaks down Luxasia’s own ‘one team, one consumer, one network and one platform’ omnichannel strategy. He said, “Investing in the right building blocks is important. Start with your team, understand the consumer, integrate your network and also your backend operations.”
“One team means we’re stronger together,” Baier said. “Talent, diversity and mindset are important in any business, otherwise you get a silo view, and you won’t be able to see past that.”
Luxasia’s own 2,000+ strong workforce is exceedingly diverse. It comprises over 25 nationalities, 30+ languages, with a team made up of more than with over 70% women, 66% millennials and with women occupying over 60% of senior leadership roles.
“One consumer means tripling down on consumer relationships through data. Invest in integrated CRM, focus on data quality over quantity and set the right metrics for success. ROI isn’t enough, expand your analytics vocabulary to better understand where your consumers are going. Analyse, predict and repeat.”
With 30%-50% of all sales forecasted to come from online, Baier said that companies need to streamline and integrate their retail networks. “One network is about creating a single optimised network that enables a seamless luxury experience. To do this, companies need to lessen doors, increase focus and mix-and-match retail formats.”
Luxasia’s own end-to-end ecommerce enablement platform is an excellent example of omni-distribution. It enables brand partners to reach end consumers, integrate marketplaces, streamline logistics and handle its own pricing and insights. “We have 15 platforms like this in Asia Pacific, and this one-stop solution has enabled us to grow significantly in ecommerce,” Baier added.
Luxasia’s Escentials store in Singapore is another example of the company’s excellent consumer-centric omnichannel approach. It combines its core retail offer with integrated pop-ups, beauty community events, data-driven digital marketing and social selling and online selling capabilities.
“One platform is the process, optimisation and integration that needs to cover the whole organisation,” Baier added. “The backend is a huge data flow that needs to work efficiently, and you need to constantly make sure that data architecture flows smoothly.”
Finally, Baier concluded by encouraging industry stakeholders to embark on their own omnichannel journey and to trust Luxasia to be their partner. “A good omnichannel strategy means embarking on a continuous journey towards integrated technology and organisational platform that combines digital, retail and supply chain technology.
“Luxasia’s own omni-distribution platform is ready to drive beauty brands’ success across Asia Pacific. Let’s grow together,” he added.