PARIS — L’Oréal is delving deeper into e-commerce by taking a minority stake in the social selling platform Replika Software Inc.
The world’s largest beauty-maker made the investment through its corporate venture fund, called BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Social commerce involves using social media to tap into communities and promote and sell products and services. It is a trend already big in Asia. There, e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Little Red Book, have been integrating user-generated content to great success, for instance.
“Social commerce is an exciting new form of e-commerce that enables consumers, influencers, experts, beauty or shop assistants to sell brands and products on social platforms through formats such as live shopping or livestreaming,” Lubomira Rochet, chief digital officer of L’Oréal, said in a statement.
‘Today, e-commerce already represents 25 percent of L’Oréal’s revenues,” she continued. “The rise of social commerce is a great opportunity for our brands to reinvent the consumer beauty experience worldwide.”
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Rochet called Replika Software a pioneer in the field, and said L’Oréal is excited to create social commerce at scale.
“Our ambition is to crack this new channel and create a healthy, dynamic ecosystem of social sellers for the beauty category,” she said.
Replika Software is a turnkey selling platform allowing brands to trigger and scale their network of social sellers to sell online and connect with consumers. Kareen Mallet, a former fashion director at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, and Corey Gottlieb, an advertising, marketing and tech entrepreneur, founded the company in 2016. It is New York-based, with offices in Paris.
“As an industry, we’re just scratching the surface of how powerful social commerce can be when it’s combined with the massive scale offered by the global online community,” Mallet said.
She said having L’Oréal’s financial support and expertise helps Replika execute its vision faster and more broadly.