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L’Oréal joins other beauty retailers in adopting live chat

French cosmetics retailer L’Oréal is debuting a new mobile-friendly chat consultation tool that offers users personalized hair color counsel, following in the footsteps of makeup retailers such as Sephora.

L’Oréal has named the product L’Oréal Hair Colorist/Paris, and it allows users to interface with L’Oréal’s beauty experts regarding a variety of hair color considerations. L’Oréal’s live chat feature kicks off a year in which may experts believe retailers will push the penetration of live chat and chabots on the mobile platform to create one of its most compelling ecommerce narratives.

“When it comes to hair, we believe that her signature shade is out there, even if you haven’t found it yet,” said Julia Youssef, vice president of L’Oréal USA’s Technical Center. “We’re eliminating the guesswork and offering an all-inclusive experience to address all of their hair concerns.”

L’Oréal Hair Colorist/Paris
The feature allows the iconic beauty brand to help women find their signature hair color, correct coloring mistakes and receive personal product recommendations by chatting instantly with an expert trained to give professional advice directly on the L’Oréal Paris Hair Color page.

The live chat function is immediately available upon visiting the L’Oréal Paris Hair Color page. The tool makes suggestions ranging from shade, enhancing current hair colors, fixing a coloring mistake or covering up grays.

L’Oréal’s experts working on the other end of the live chat platform will counsel customers based on their hair care needs, and will recommend L’Oréal products to users accordingly.

“The tool allows us to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with consumers by combining one-on-one engagement with a hair color expert with technology that helps us to better understand our Hair Color consumer,” said Celine Dumais, vice president of L’Oréal USA’s Consumer Care Center.

L’Oréal Hair Colorist/Paris is the kind of digital innovation that earned the company a number one ranking from business intelligence firm L2’s Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color study. Along with the fresh live chat feature’s variety of visual filters to target specific questions and concerns, L2 also praised L’Oréal’s mobile search with links for product pages and store locators.

Live chat
Other prominent beauty retailers have also turned to live chat to encourage transactions, including Sephora, which was one of the first such retailers to roll out a chatbot for its customers. It continued its knack for mobile innovation with a pair of new features that allow customers to book appointments with Sephora specialists and help customers make purchasing decisions on their own (see story).

And in its emphasis on chat, L’Oréal may have taken a page out of a Chinese company’s book. The majority of consumers in China are using mobile messaging application WeChat as their sole source for interaction with brands, daily tasks and communication with others and marketers are learning how to leverage this to their advantage and recreate this tactics overseas (see story).

“We are honored to be recognized as number one in the Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color study for our intuitive personalized and mobile search strategy designed to meet women when and where they are actively searching for information,” said Greg Hui, vice president of Haircolor, L’Oréal Paris.