Sometimes several brands exist under one parent company; brands which are so unique it’s hard to believe they share the same DNA. What happens when several of these brands launch individual online shops simultaneously? On one hand, the implementation agency faces a major challenge; on the other, the result is a highly exciting eCommerce project.

A subsidiary of the world’s largest cosmetics manufacturer, L’Oréal Germany started their plans to develop a multi-brand shop infrastructure in the spring of 2014. The intent was to launch three individual brand shops at the same time while maintaining their respective, unique presence. These were Urban Decay (makeup artist brand), Kiehl’s (skin and body care since 1851) and Clarisonic (cleansers for the skin and face). When it came to implementing these three highly original online shops, L’Oréal turned to conexco, a well-seasoned Shopware Enterprise Partner.

The history between L’Oréal, conexco and Shopware starts in early 2014. “When planning our new online appearance, we assessed possible vendors on the basis of 24 individual components. Since Shopware met all our conditions, the decision was very clear,” said Felix Schmidt, Chief Data Officer and Director of eCommerce, CRM & Digital Marketing for the group.

Urban Decay: the first step in direct sales

Conexco approached the project with a well-rounded understanding of the three brands and what features were required for each unique project, and turned to Shopware as the single system able to bring everything together: “For us, it was important to appropriately underline each brand and deliver a perfect presentation on the internet. The right shop system plays a crucial role in achieving this,” Felix Schmidt said of the project.

One major challenge was all three shops somehow had to be integrated into L’Oréal’s existing enterprise environment. To achieve this, each shop was set up with a separate instance, using the flexible and highly customizable Shopware Enterprise solution as the basis for each. The first shop in the triumvirate was Urban Decay; a “feminine, dangerous and fun” brand from the United States that focuses on eyeshadow, lip gloss, eyeliner, mascara and other makeup products.

In their mission statement, Urban Decay emphasizes they serve “women who relish their individuality and dare to express it” – naturally, the product presentation in the online shop should also align with individualism. This also means the functions in the shop had to be unique. An additional special requirement was that the project had to be launched on September 1, 2014, only four months after it started in May.

For the implementation of all three shops, Conexco used a custom responsive template and took advantage of the Quickview function in order to perfectly present the shops on all devices – a decision which proved beneficial when all was said and done. “Using the responsive theme, we were able to make a significant increase in sales on mobile devices. In many ways, we’ve already passed our goal by nearly 50%,” Felix said of their success using Shopware’s responsive theme.

Increased turnover using the responsive theme

“For all three shops, we also created diverse functions and connections in order to meet L’Oréal’s complete scope of requirements. One of which included a promotional function that allocates free gifts based on the total basket value. Another was a store locator so customers could connect with the nearest stationary store and their product assortment,” Josua Seiler, Managing Director at conexco, said of the implementation. This also proved helpful in terms of order and retail range planning, considering L’Oréal could calculate how long a product would remain in stock.

In order to integrate the shops into L’Oréal’s existing enterprise processes, several unique connections were required. “We integrated the CRM Salesforce, created a connection to SAP as well as Zendesk with a single-sign-on, and integrated the external fulfillment service provider,” Seiler reported of the requirements.

Additional requirements had to be met in regard to caching, including CDN (external cloud rendering), optimized caching and activating the Varnish Cache. As the result of a TV campaign on “Germany’s Next Top Model”, the team had to take all precautions to ensure the Clarisonic website wouldn’t be brought to its knees during peak traffic loads.

A special product adviser

Conexco developed a special product adviser for the 650 available products in the Kiehl’s shop. Using this tool, which is styled like a questionnaire, customers can add products to their shopping cart individually or in bundles. An additional requirement for Kiehl’s included “Testimonials”, which is a more pronounced form of customer reviews, with the goal being to build more confidence in the buyer through peer reviews.

When all was said and done, it took conexco two months for the implementation, which left them completely on schedule for completion. An outstanding feat, considering Kiehl’s was the third consecutive L’Oréal implementation, following Clarisonic in April and Urban Decay in February 2015.

According to Josua Seiler, using Shopware had paid off in every respect. “Shopware’s flexibility has been extremely helpful for us. Time could have been our greatest challenge, but since the system allows for a short time-to-market, in the end, the time factor actually wasn’t even a problem.”

Meanwhile, Felix Schmidt praises the cooperation between all parties involved. “In all project phases, the understanding and cooperation went smoothly. Of the more than 50 online shops I’ve brought online in the past few years, this project was by far one of the most successful collaborations, due to the passion and unconditional commitment of everyone involved.”



Key Facts

Special requirements
  • Multi-brand shop infrastructure
  • Custom responsive theme including Quickview function
  • Custom product advisor
  • Special caching requirements during peak traffic periods
  • each with a Shopware Enterprise
Parent company
  • L'ORÉAL Germany, Dusseldorf