#PRAwards 2021 highlight: How L’Occitane beat the retail slowdown with mobile-friendly gaming platform

L’Occitane came in strong as finalist for the Best Use of Technology award at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's recent PR Awards 2021. Judges took note of the company’s Tap Tap Harvest done in conjunction with Wowsome Malaysia, which helped L’Occitane go beyond traditional eCommerce to keep in touch with existing customers while attracting new ones, enhancing L’Occitane’s brand reputation at the same time. 

Challenge 

Retail took a big hit in 2020, with many outlets closed during lockdowns and customers staying away from physical stores even post-lockdown. As footfall shrank at its outlets during the pandemic, L’Occitane sought a solution that would increase brand awareness and sales in Malaysia and Singapore during the pandemic.  

Strategy 

Wowsome decided on a campaign that would not only resonate with existing L’Occitane consumers, but also improve and promote L’Occitane’s reputation, attracting and encouraging younger consumers to purchase. As 94.37% of the population in Malaysia and Singapore have smartphones, according to Statista, Wowsome came up with a web-based lifestyle game that would allow consumers to have fun with their friends. The idea was to have consumers play anytime, anywhere as long as there is internet access, without needing to download an app or worry about phone compatibility.  

The gaming platform had to be sophisticated enough to generate metrics for L’Occitane, attractive enough that consumers would want to share the platform with others using word-of-mouth, and lead to sales as cost-effectively as possible. Wowsome believes that consumers want to buy from brands that offer convenience and fast response. If L’Occitane could meet these criteria with the game, it would succeed online.  

Execution 

Each Tap Tap Harvest feature was curated to increase game stickiness for consumers, and eventually convert them from player to a customer.  

The gaming microsite allowed consumers to personalise their own avatar, invite friends to their virtual home, play games with friends, and send virtual gifts, for example. The platform also enabled consumers to earn coins that can be used to redeem e-vouchers with expiry dates. The vouchers can in turn be spent on real-life shopping sprees at the L’Occitane En Demande website, going from online to offline.  

Consumers had the opportunity to learn more about skincare, healthcare or body care from beauty consultants on Tap Tap Harvest, and shop online. The platform was also used to promote corporate social responsibility initiatives by the L’Occitane Foundation, and to invite consumers to give back to society by participating in them.  

To attract new players, Tap Tap Harvest gave every beginner a voucher for a 12-piece sample kit after they had achieved an initial milestone of creating three gifts. 

At the back end, the e-voucher mechanism met the criteria of convenience and responsiveness. It ensured that the vouchers were for one-time use, verified quickly by L’Occitane staff, and displayed reliably during the check-out process at the En Demande store. 

Wowsome also created a complementary Tap Tap Harvest group on Facebook, the most popular social network worldwide as of 2020 by number of active users, according to Statista. The group builds a sense of community, helps L’Occitane build rapport with customers, and acts as a notice board for communicating game promotions and updates.  

Result 

The campaign started on 2 November 2020, and is still ongoing. In two months, the game had over 66,000 users from Singapore and Malaysia, jumping from 18,371 registered guests in November to 47,949 guests in December.  

Engagement also increased from November to December. User traffic and sessions increased 121% in December vs November, while redemptions of the 12-piece sample set and e-vouchers jumped from 28% in November to 51% in December.  

Sales conversions also improved. The average sales conversion rate stood at 7% in the June to October period, before the Tap Tap Harvest campaign was launched. It had jumped to 33% from November to December.