Estee Lauder is conquering the digital world one brand at a time
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Estee Lauder is conquering the digital world one brand at a time

When you think of multi-brand cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, you probably don’t think about digital portals and the latest online technology. But, if you’re an investor, maybe you should: because Estee’s online capabilities are pushing the company to new heights of success. ELC Online (which stands for Estee Lauder Company Online) employs 700 people worldwide to design, build and run 1,700 mobile and ecommerce sites in 40 countries. It works with the latest offerings from tech companies like Amazon and Google, and includes functions like digital marketing and social media. And, most importantly, it’s very, very, successful.

Estee Lauder’s share price has risen by 21% so far this year

19 20 GraphEstee

Source: Yahoo Finance

Over the last five years, ELC Online’s sales have risen an average of 25%, year on year. Last year, they hit a new high-point in regards to the proportion of the company’s total sales (13% came from online), and the company said that there were more than 430 million “brand-specific website visits” over the year. According to Estee, digital transformation is a “must have”. The company’s vice president of global online marketing and merchandising, Salima Popatia, said: “there have been a lot of new beauty entrants, and there is a disruption in retail. Our goal is to be relevant to the consumer wherever she is.”

But according to Popatia, ELC Online is about more than just ecommerce – it’s about creating market- and brand-specific platforms where customers can develop deep relationships with Estee Lauder’s multiple houses. She said: “We serve as a commerce platform, but there is a second purpose. Consumers are engaging with us and consuming content, video, blogs, influencer or partnership content, UGC, and review content. We are thinking about brand sites, not just as e-commerce sites, but also as media platforms.”

So far, that’s proving to be a winning strategy for the company.


Dominion holds Estee Lauder in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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