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Personalization is Key to the Shopping Experience, Says Laura Geller’s Mila Mendez

Building customers a five-star experience can lead to brand loyalty, Mendez stressed.

“The consumer has evolved,” said Mila Mendez, executive director of e-commerce and m-commerce at Laura Geller.

Big tech companies have taught consumers to expect more, especially in terms of personalization, she noted in a talk with Olapic’s chief marketing officer, Rachel Meranus.

“If we’re talking personalization in the digital space, I like metaphors…. I look at personalization as a five-star hotel, 24/7 the best concierge service, on steroids,” she said. The choice on the brand side is either build those experiences or be the “lower-rated Motel 6,” Mendez said.

She urged brands to go through data and analytics tailored to their specific customer, which in turn will build customer loyalty. Content plays into the strategy as well, where user-generated content can be used in-store, on the site and to showcase brand products, Mendez said. “Home shopping was the original YouTube tutorial space,” Mendez said, talking about Laura Geller’s origination on television. The brand was frequently featured in discovery tutorials, she noted, and that has ramped up into more regular appearances in YouTube makeup tutorials.

“In the TV space, a few times a year you have a really big day, and it’s not a space we want to forget,” Mendez said. “But we wanted to merge the two, we wanted to merge the customer that’s been there for this brand and then expand beyond that.” The brand offered 48 hours where staff was available to answer everything from shade to ingredient questions of its consumers.

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“We really got a response to say, ‘Oh my God you guys, you answered to us,’ and that was never done before,” Mendez said. “We were able to bring a completely new set of viewership to the channel.”

Laura Geller also tested out the customer-service Instagram, but found customers wanted to reach out at various touch points, she said, adding, “wherever they were comfortable.”

Mendez urged attendees to focus on the personalization experience they could bring to market the fastest, either e-commerce, content, customer service or in-store experience. “Figure out what your end goal is and what you want to look like and try to chip away one goal at at time,” Mendez said. “Brands are in need of becoming publishers.”