Artificial Intelligence

L'Oréal Preps for the Future With Metaverse Incubator and AI- and Data-Powered Beauty Science

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
Liz Dominguez

L'Oréal made significant strides in digital innovation over the last year, such as leveraging inclusive, science-backed beauty and entering new selling and consumer engagement opportunities on TikTok and the metaverse, all while tapping artificial intelligence and data.

Learn how the company is preparing for the future of beauty with a strategy focused on digital transformation.

An AI- and Data-Led Future

The company’s overall approach leans on a “multipolar geographical” strategy, said Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of L’Oréal, during a recent call with investors — one that touches every area of the enterprise. For example, with a supply chain that has 38 owned factories globally, with a distribution strategy that spans a vast network, and with e-commerce plans that go beyond the traditional to explore the possibilities of D2C and B2B platforms.

The multi-pronged approach means recognizing what the future holds: “an AI- and tech-led era with the highest expectations in terms of sustainability, purpose, and cultural diversity,” said Hieronimus. 

He pointed to recent advances in beauty science at the company such as an augmented reality platform developed for those with limited hand and arm mobility. Additionally, L’Oréal has tapped AI to gather large scale consumer data to better understand skin and aging, using the tech to develop “next-level diagnosis services for personalized recommendations to drive loyalty and satisfaction.”

  • A Closer Look at L'Oréal’s Recent Digital Developments

    L’Oreal is building out its cloud-based retail execution strategy, expanding the current roll-out plans to include the brand’s Morocco division. The platform uses algorithms and AI to pinpoint the highest value stores. Learn more.

    L’Oreal USA increased consumer transparency by launching a Product Impact Labeling system that gave online shoppers visibility into the environmental impact of the product they purchase compared to other L’Oreal products in that same category. Learn more.

    The company invested in natural language processing to streamline its financial insight capabilities and reduce risk of error. The AI application marries computational linguistics with machine and deep learning models to accurately translate text and spoken language. Learn more.

    The beauty brand invested $140 million in a research center in Clark, New Jersey that will focus on innovations across hair, skin, and makeup by digging deeper into data surrounding green science and beauty tech. Learn more

Beauty Goes Virtual

Efforts have also seeped into emerging areas of interest like the metaverse and social commerce. To address the need, Hieronimus said the company developed the first dedicated incubator in partnership with Station F and Meta, along with the first multi-brand Avatar partnership with Ready Player Me: a platform that allows users to create a full-body 3D avatar with a selfie and use it in the metaverse.

Additionally, the company has launched several TikTok campaigns, including a branded hashtag challenge called #StyleLikeAnExpert that asked users to showcase their daily grooming routine with a creative and interesting video. This campaign alone generated 242-plus million video views and 191,000 plus entries.

Delving into these spaces is part of the company’s plan to accelerate on strategic growth drivers, one of which is zoning in on the upper half of the middle class — a group of 2 billion people worldwide that are leveraging TikTok, search, and immersive experiences to become more beauty savvy, according to Alexis Perakis-Valat, president of the company’s consumer product division.

L’Oréal takes these investments seriously, forming a dedicated team of 2,000 IT and beauty experts and 800 data analysts to explore new horizons and extend digital leadership. For example, last May, the company promoted Han Wen to chief digital and marketing officer for L’Oréal USA, tasking her with leading the digital transformation of the company at the enterprise level, in partnership with its divisions and brands.

“As we look beyond 2023 and towards a new era, our multipolar modal, coupled with our proven capacity to harness the power of data and AI and drive sustainable change, will place L'Oréal in a unique position to strengthen our leadership and deliver strong value for our shareholders,” said Hieronimus.

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