Beauty Tech Live review

Maximising the direct-to-consumer model

Coty Chief Digital Officer Jean-Denis Mariani explored the company’s innovative direct-to-consumer approach in a memorable Knowledge Hub session at Beauty Tech Live.

Ecommerce currently contributes to 19% of beauty group Coty’s business, but according to Coty Chief Digital Officer Jean-Denis Mariani, it will soon play an even bigger role. “Digital and ecommerce have been totally changed by the pandemic, accelerating its growth by three years,” he said in a session that opened Day Four of the Beauty Tech Live Knowledge Hub. Mariani manages Coty’s digital strategy and is responsible for growing the company’s global ecommerce and direct-to-consumer operations. “There are a lot of big changes to Coty’s digital transformation and in one year’s time our digital footprint will be very different to what it is today.”

“However, the last year has surprised us with 70% of women and 80% of men buying fragrance online. TikTok posts on fragrance increased +400% in the last year. Our Perfect Marc Jacobs fragrance, which was launched with a digitally-focused 360-degree social media campaign, reached over ten billion views on TikTok and achieved similar results on SnapChat.” Direct-to-consumer (D2C) was another major beauty ecommerce trend that emerged during the crisis. Commenting on Coty’s D2C approach, Mariani said: “The main goal of D2C is to have relevant interactions with consumers through personalisation and data.

According to Mariani, Coty’s digital transformation will greatly benefit all areas of its business. “Digital creates a lot of opportunities across all our functions from supply chain to sales and marketing. To achieve this, we need to ensure that we have a strong mindset around consumer, digital and data and have a willingness to grow and find new ways of working.” While digital acceleration has helped the makeup, skincare and wellbeing categories flourish, the fragrance category — due to the sensorial nature of smell and fragrance sampling — has had some difficulty transitioning to the virtual world. “Coty is the world leader in fragrance, but this category poses the biggest challenge when it comes to digital,” Mariani said.

Click on the video to play the full interview with Jean-Denis Mariani

Last year Coty expanded Kylie Skin’s D2C presence in the UK, France, Germany and Australia with a new website

“D2C needs to be your most beautiful brand shop, a digital flagship store that offers the best of everything from specialist guidance to live tutorials. We’re exploring a number of strategies to take our D2C strategy to the next level.” Mariani added that giving your customers a reason to purchase is key to creating an effective D2C strategy. “The most difficult part of D2C is giving consumers a reason to purchase on your platform. This is why personalisation, innovation, product exclusivity, services and new digital trends like livestreaming, tutorials and masterclasses are so important to creating strong D2C value.” “Our Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty brands are our secret weapons to D2C,” Mariani added. “They invented the drop model in the beauty industry and we’re capitalising on what works and why and applying the best practices to our other brands.”

“D2C needs to be your most beautiful brand shop,” said Mariani as he highlighted livestream, social-selling and expert tutorials as key trends to take Coty’s D2C strategy to the next level

The key learning, Mariani said, is the power of community. “Building a community that advocates customers, maximises the drop model and uses the power of social activation is essential in any effective D2C approach. We’re already applying these learnings to Philosophy, Bourgeois and Lancaster as those brands have strong communities.” Diving further into the power of online communities and social-selling trend, Mariani said: “Our vision is to create a holistic, fully-integrated transactional social-selling ecosystem. To do that, we need to capitalise on every touchpoint in order to give consumers the ability to purchase. D2C isn’t just about having a website but having a digital ecosystem that enables brand connection and purchase.” So, what are the benefits of investing in D2C versus launching with pure-play e-tailers or online marketplaces? Mariani said that it is all about data. “The main difference is data, because consumers expect personalised interactions, and that data will help deliver controlled experiences. “D2C involves a lot of effort and investment,” Mariani added. “It’s about customer care, supply chain, product strategy, technology and services. Today’s consumers are accustomed to best-in-class digital services, so when developing D2C you always have to assess your peers and home in on why customers should shop directly with you over others.”


The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 295 | 18 May 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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