Online Exclusives

Customization from the Cloud

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | April 7, 2014

Laura Geller Beauty taps Blucarat Social to personalize the online shopping experience.

Laura Geller Beauty, a top-selling cosmetic line at QVC, deployed Blucarat Social on and in weeks, reported improvements in conversion rates, order values and time on site, according to the company. The secret was Blucarat Social—a cloud-based solution used by e-commerce companies to create, moderate and market to communities directly on their native websites. 
Now friends, family, like-minded shoppers and product experts can connect directly on commerce sites to share questions, curated collections, product reviews and purchase inspirations. Blucarat, the developer of socially-enabled commerce solutions for online retailers, aims to seamlessly integrate shopping communities into online commerce sites and facilitate rich social interactions that generate new purchases, according to an executive at the company, which works with heavy hitters such as BCBG, Harry Winston and 1-800-Flowers.
“Social media is an important element of our sales and marketing strategies. It is a critical channel for delivering our brand message and launching new products—as well as educating our consumers about our products and sharing local events and promotions,” said Alyce Cucurullo, president and COO of Laura Geller Beauty. “We are committed to helping each woman become the most beautiful version of herself, and BluCarat has been a great tool to help us to customize our advice and recommendations for each individual shopper.
Laura Geller Beauty has a community of more than 100,000 “Geller Girls” whose knowledge of cosmetics and their proper application is now an invaluable boon for the brand and consumers alike, said the company. Blucarat Social empowers this community by creating an “in-store” forum where Geller Girls post and answer questions, create and share online makeup kits, chat in real time and much more.
During six months of deployment on the Laura Geller website, Blucarat Social has generated significant improvements in several areas key to online retailers. Users that logged into the “Beauty Bar” solution had a 49% increase in conversion rate compared to non-community members. Per visit value was 59% higher and the number of pages visited was 22% higher than those not using the Beauty Bar, said the company.
Shoppers feel that they get a better retail experience online than in-store, including better service, more perks and rewards, and the ability to make smarter purchasing decisions, according to recent studies from WSL. This finding was derived from the WSL’s recently conducted Digital Shopper Focus Group which gathered 11 frequent shoppers of both online retail sites and brick-and-mortar stores for a conversation about how 10-plus years of online shopping has changed consumer expectations in-store.
“Shoppers have learned how to find what they want quickly online, searching by category, brand and style, while accessing product information, comparing features, checking prices, finding coupons, and getting help on the spot,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL.  “By comparison, traditional retail experiences are no longer good enough. Retailers now have an opportunity, and a challenge, to create a brick-and-mortar environment that cannot be duplicated online.”
Recent launches at Laura Geller include its Baked Elements Foundation, formulated with Italian water extracted from a 3,000-year-old thermal spring in Calabria, Italy. This formula delivers luminous, matte, buildable coverage while essential elements from the spring water nourish and hydrate skin from the inside out. Enriched with powerful minerals and antioxidants, Baked Elements helps protect and improve skin texture while providing flawless coverage, according to the company.
In order to create this medium-to-full buildable coverage foundation, liquid pigments are baked for 24 hours on terracotta tiles, then hand-finished by Italian artisans to produce a creamy powder. Crafted without additional powders or fillers that can cloud color, the micronized pigments wear color true and seamlessly match natural skin tones. The formula is available in six shades (porcelain, fair, light, medium, golden medium and tan). Key ingredients include hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica and jojoba oil.
The thermal spring water enriched with skin-nourishing elements and minerals is touted as a preventer of premature aging—a long-time secret in the Italian region.
But with networking hubs such as Blucarat and the Geller Girls, this secret won’t be safe for long.
“Blucarat is built on the belief that that online shoppers rely on purchase affirmations from friends and family today but do so in a clumsy, “out-of-band” way. We help retailers create social shopping communities directly within their online shops. Laura Geller Beauty has built an extremely loyal social community that is now activated directly on their commerce site,” said Blucarat CEO and founder Tom C. Kwon.
Other recent launches from Geller span from a Crème Glaze Eyeshadow Trio and Love Me Dew lip crayons at Ulta to a Triple Duty Concealer Kit on QVC. The company has also rolled out Eyelight brightening pen at various retail locations.
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