Premium Beauty News - Arcade Beauty is now defined as a partner for “smart sampling solutions”. How do digital technologies impact your business?
Xavier de Jarnac - Digital technologies are gradually penetrating the world of sampling and will soon revolutionize the way sampling campaigns are designed.
Today, digital technologies represent 30% of brands’ advertizing investments, and they are about to reach 40%. This medium has outmatched television in many countries. However, samples remain an essential step, because, at some point, consumers need to test products, in particular in the beauty industry. As a matter of fact, we aim to support our customers with distributing samples through a digital environment, in order to build a bridge between the online and offline worlds – between the virtual world and product testing.
Premium Beauty News - What do you mean by “smart solutions”?
Xavier de Jarnac - The market is getting from mass sampling to a more targeted approach focused on consumers, who decide when and how to take interest in a brand and receive a sample. To meet this demand, we suggest two options: direct marketing (mail with a sample), or our sampling distributor, called The Kiosk. These “solutions” are perfectly adapted to digital technologies: I order a sample and receive it at home by mail, or collect it from a distributor close to my home.
Premium Beauty News - It actually seems direct marketing is rebounding.
Xavier de Jarnac - Indeed, the mail solution is an excellent complement to digital technologies, and it offers very attractive ROI. We support our customers in this field by suggesting a packaged offering: sample production in optimized formats for postal dispatch, distribution all around the world, thanks to partnerships with dispatchers in many countries, data collection, with the creation of mini-websites, analysis of campaign efficiency, etc.
Premium Beauty News - Is it this intention to diversify your activities that explains your investment in the Adelpi connected terminal solution?
Xavier de Jarnac - We aim to offer perfume and cosmetics brands new solutions to distribute samples and mini-products, while guaranteeing a fluid experience for final customers. It does explain our investment in Adelpi’s connected distributor. Thanks to the The Kiosk solution, consumers can order their samples by creating an account online and collecting them from a close terminal with a mere identification code. The data collected by The Kiosk will help brands work on their relationships with consumers or prospects in the long term, and suggest adapted offers to them. The machine’s touch screen also makes it possible to create a playful experience with the sample, especially since it can be connected to the 4G or WiFi networks available around.
The Kiosk terminal distributes highly qualitative samples, creates an event around their distribution, and collects data on consumers. We will showcase it at the next Pack & Gift show on June 21-22, in Paris.
Premium Beauty News - Much has also been said about connected samples.
Xavier de Jarnac - That is the other major development path in this field. A sample is by definition a small surface with a reduced communication space, hence the temptation to offer a complementary experience online. The best-known solution is the QR Code, which works well in Asia. The other option is the visual recognition of the sample, but similarly to the QR Code, it requires a specific application. There are more and more possibilities, and we are actually developing our own solution.
Right now, the connected sample solution is a minority. The challenge for us is to achieve maximum fluidity, because we can get excellent results. We keep testing and developing new solutions. There are real expectations from consumers, in particular in terms of exclusive advantages.
Premium Beauty News - Will the targeting possibilities offered by digital technologies not reduce the number of samples per campaign?
Xavier de Jarnac - Not necessarily. We are convinced the two systems can coexist: standard mass sampling to reach a great number of consumers, and a targeted offer to develop loyalty and product experiences. We will sell smarter samples and services. Our objective remains unchanged: promoting products through sample distribution. We are acquiring new skills beyond mass production and distribution to integrate data management. That is the actual challenge.