ETail: L'Occitane Vende Avec L'E-Mail

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PHILADELPHIA -- French cosmetics firm L'Occitane hosted a panel Aug. 8 in the multichannel integration track at the eTail 2006 conference detailing how the company has integrated multiple channels like e-mail to drive revenue.

One element in the implementation of the e-mail program was a capture program in stores, covering 150 U.S. locations and 1,000 worldwide.

"You need to have a very strong message to your retail stores that it is important to gain e-mail addresses," said Felix Danzinger, vice president of direct and business-to-business at L'Occitane. "We have created an incentive plan which educates our sales staff on the direct sales results of this e-mail capture program."

This incentive program includes educating sales associates with revenue results, which directly benefits each person in the store. The firm avoids a pay-per-lead program to keep sales associates from being too aggressive, thus letting customers have a relaxing shopping experience.

Stores that show the most growth are rewarded with an in-store event promoted via e-mail to the customers in the area. This drives traffic to the store and has increased sales.

Overall sales are up due to such measures, according to L'Occitane. The firm reports that since 2003 its customer base has grown 25 percent. Also, complaints are down, and the average life span of the customer relationship is longer.

This new e-mail incentive program has become part of the L'Occitane training manual in order to illustrate the significance of marketing in all channels that the firm has to offer.

The list has grown organically at the rate of 12 percent a month in 2005 and so far this year. The firm reported that its database doubled last year.

"Collecting e-mail addresses lets us generate online business offline," Mr. Danzinger said. "And by generating our lists through stores, we have a healthy filter that we wouldn't have [had] buying lists."

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