At Revlon Inc., global e-commerce sales are slowly climbing as the company brings its digital marketing and sales in-house.
In March, executive vice chairman Paul Meister announced the company was in the process of recruiting new hires and transitioning away from its agency of record, Sapient Razorfish. The move is part of Revlon’s internal restructuring of its digital organization, the goal of which is to produce content (marketing visuals, social media posts and overall campaigns) more affordably and more often, better control influencer relationships, and manage sales relationships with growing e-commerce partners like Amazon and Tmall.
“To ensure we have the people and technology in place to win in digital, we’ve established a new digital organization design and have built a new internally staffed digital organization,” Meister told investors on Thursday during the company’s first-quarter financial earnings for 2018. “We’re becoming more capable as we’re developing digital assets internally, which is much faster and much less expensive than outside agencies. We’re excited about progress, but there’s still more to come.”
While Revlon’s overall sales dipped 6 percent, to $561 million, said to be due to shipping and delivery disruptions at its North Carolina factory, e-commerce sales grew by 25 percent. The company doesn’t share specific sales figures for the e-commerce channel, but overall, e-commerce grew to account for 5 percent of global sales, a tick upward from the 4 percent previously reported at the end of the company’s financial 2017.
Although e-commerce is currently a small sliver of the company’s overall sales, it’s the biggest growth opportunity for Revlon. Meister pointed to the company’s surge in China, where it’s seeing double-digit growth across brands, as an example of the e-commerce potential, since 80 percent of the company’s sales in China are currently made online.
“We have a huge opportunity to increase speed and flexibility in local markets, particularly in a region like Asia. I would rank that as possibly our No. 1 opportunity,” said Meister.
The move to bring digital marketing and sales initiatives in-house comes a little over a year after Revlon Inc. reorganized its overall internal structure to be pillared by brands and brand categories, rather than by digital and offline sales channels. Now, the company is sorted around four categories: Revlon, Elizabeth Arden, Portfolio (which includes the rest of the brands, like Almay and American Crew) and Fragrance. The move was made to reorient the company to better focus on customers across channels, rather than in two distinct retail settings, so it can react more quickly to customer trends and reception to product launches, which are also happening more frequently throughout the year, according to Meister.
In beauty, speed is top of mind: Ulta is prioritizing its brand launches and buys around it, as customer trends move faster than ever, and newness drives traffic both in stores and online. (Revlon doesn’t share sales figures around its clients, but it recently revamped Almay and Revlon displays in 140 Ulta locations to better improve the customer experience there.)
“There have always been trends in beauty; the difference today is how quickly everything is moving. It’s fast beauty,” Monica Arnaudo, senior vice president of merchandising at Ulta, told Glossy in a recent interview. “Now we’re working with brand partners that are able to move very quickly in product development. A big differentiator is the speed to market.”
As the company’s reorganization around its brands and its shift to an in-house digital organization is underway, Revlon Inc. is set on the goal of reaching a total sales volume of $5 billion in the next five years, up from $3 billion in 2017.