L’Oréal’s SalonCentric brings the marketplace model to B2B e-commerce
Already omnipresent on retailers’ e-commerce sites, the marketplace model is taking hold in the B2B trade show industry.
Wednesday, L’Oreal USA B2B retailer SalonCentric has announced a new marketplace on its website. Deployed in September, the e-commerce functionality will triple the site’s product selection offered to salons and stylists.
“Our mission is really to help salons and stylists run their business, to be a unique destination for them. For this reason, the market [will] expand to new product categories that we don’t have in our stores today, ”said Bertrand Fontaine, President of SalonCentric.
SalonCentric anticipates that the new market will add 350 new suppliers to its site. It currently sells around 100 brands online and in its 600 stores. She also plans to be able to offer new categories on her site, including salon equipment and hair extensions.
The marketplace model has already swept the B2C e-commerce market. In addition to Amazon, a wide variety of retailers, like Walmart, have added marketplaces to their websites. SalonCentric has developed its marketplace in partnership with the SaaS marketplace platform Mirakl, which has also set up marketplaces for more than 300 companies including B2C marketplaces on Feelunique, Galeries Lafayette and Urban Outfitters. Market sales composed of 62% of global e-commerce sales in 2020, according to Digital Commerce 360.
“It’s a change in business model, so you have to change the way you think,” Fontaine said. In order to “open up to the fact that we will have many more suppliers, [the company must] be a little less obsessed with cannibalizing existing products, ”he said.
The marketplace will exist in tandem with SalonCentric’s existing e-commerce and store activities. The retailer continues to add new brands to this line, such as Design Essentials, which will launch on the site on June 1, and BosleyMD, which was added in March 2021.
According to Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and CEO of Mirakl, the marketplace model is developing rapidly for B2B e-commerce. He predicts that this “will become a table issue for B2B wholesalers of all kinds.” In July 2020, Mirakl partnered with Salesforce to integrate Salesforce Commerce Cloud into its marketplaces.
SalonCentric will monitor “precise metrics” of quality, customer service and delivery for suppliers, Fontaine said. “These are existing customers, and we want to make sure they’re getting the right quality, in terms of the products, but also in terms of the quality of delivery. It will be organized.
Amazon is increasingly active in the wholesale space of B2B trade shows. The Amazon Professional Beauty Store was launched in 2019, and recently the company opened a physical Amazon lounge in London. Amazon has also become a B2C sales channel for salon brands such as Paul Mitchell.
“L’Oreal as a company has been in this industry for over 100 years. We started in this industry, so we know how to deliver exactly what salons and stylists need. It’s part of our DNA, and that’s where we have an advantage, ”said Fontaine.
Hit particularly hard by the pandemic, the American hair salon industry is betting on a comeback, with improved rates of Covid-19 and the lifting of restrictions.
According to 2020 of the L’Oréal Group financial report, its professional division North America gained market share and achieved a “solid performance” in the second half of the year, “thanks in particular to SalonCentric”. The company plans to reach $ 1.3 billion in sales by the end of 2021.
During the pandemic, SalonCentric saw an increase in orders for PPE. Fontaine also observed that city center lounges are experiencing lower activity, while “suburban lounges are booming”, due to the decline in commuting.
“A lot of salons tell us that they see clients they haven’t seen in a year, [who] only began to dare to come to salons, thanks to vaccinations. Right now the industry is really moving, ”said Fontaine. “In the L’Oreal Group, we kind of think there will be some kind of new “Roaring Twenties” where after the lockdown people will want to party and the sophisticated beauty will rise again.