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Big Content Index: Which Beauty Brands Have Dramatic Content Looks?

October 24th, 2016

In a time where new ecommerce sites appear daily, the role of content has never been more important. Retailers are poised to provide customers with an engaging experience but often are unsure how to do this. With the help of social media, editorial material, rich media and other digital content, retailers have the necessary components to create a compelling brand experience that helps them win over loyal customers and new shoppers, all while increasing their bottom line.

Amplience is committed to helping brands generate rich content and one of the ways we achieve this is through our BCI, which benchmarks digital content performance across five key content metrics: editorial content, rich product media, social media, user generated content (UGC) and guided selling. In a previous post we looked at how leading homeware stores are performing and today we’re drilling down into the BCI assessment of top beauty brands.

The chart below lists the nineteen brands we examined along with their score in each of the five dimensions. The final BCI score for each retailer reflects their cumulative ranking in each category.


Of nineteen beauty brands, only seven companies – Perricone MD, Rimmel London, L’Oreal Paris, Benefit, Kiehls, Estee Lauder and Too Faced Cosmetics—received a total BCI score of more than 50 percent. This is a compelling statistic when looking at the brands who are leading in BCI. These brands are a mix of established companies and new market entrants, which shows how important content is, no matter what stage the brand is in.

Other well-known beauty brands were notably absent from the top bunch, scoring in the 40th percentile – among them CoverGirl (49%), Clinique (44%), Lancome USA (40%) and Maybelline New York (39%). It’s interesting to note that the latter two are owned by L’Oreal. An additional L’Oreal company—Urban Decay—was among the lowest scoring brands in the overall BCI, coming in at just 19%. These findings suggest that established brands have a lot to learn when it comes to navigating the content world.

While the BCI assessment showed some areas of improvement, it also highlighted some encouraging trends. Editorial content is arguably one of the most critical elements, and most of the brands assessed received above 50 percent. Estee Lauder, an oldie but a goodie beauty brand, received the highest score in the category at 80 percent. Not far behind were newer brands Kiehls, Rimmel London and Clinique, each of which scored in the 60th percentile.

Estee Lauder’s success is also reflected in L2’s Digital IQ Index Beauty, which scored the company eighth in its ranking of 106 specialty brands, praising them for partnering with Kendall Jenner to position themselves as a brand for the “millennial.” Estee Lauder has used its partnership with Jenner to increase its social presence. With over 400 million active users on Instagram, it’s easy to understand why beauty brands are focusing on their social channels. The L2 Report found that many beauty brands are utilizing social channels as key components of their branding, marketing and ecommerce campaigns, similar to what the BCI assessment found. This was the highest scoring category, with an average score of 72 percent. Kiehls, Too Faced Cosmetics, Perricone MD and Shiseido are top contenders in this category, earning a score of 93 percent. Many companies could utilize it further to their advantage, however, and also capitalize on the opportunities inherent in other social sites—for example, sponsoring YouTube beauty gurus to create dramatic makeup looks.


The guided selling category proved to be more challenging for most companies. Perricone MD ranked highest in the BCI assessment, earning a score of 67 percent. L’Oreal brands Maybelline New York, L’Oreal Paris and Lancome scored in the top half of the BCI assessment, and were also among the leaders in L2’s findings.

The majority of high scoring beauty brands utilize social media, personalize the online user experience through UGC/rich content and tap video tutorials to entice consumers. Given the importance of encouraging consumers to purchase directly from a brand online, versus through a third party, guided selling is certainly an area upon which beauty retailers should focus. Through guided selling, brands can enable customers to “shop the look” or search based on eye color or skin type, which showcases all of the products they are looking to purchase.

It’s clear from the BCI assessment that beauty brands are working towards conquering the content challenges of today’s ecommerce landscape. While some are leading the charge by utilizing rich content, guided selling and social media, no one brand seems to have mastered it all. Encouraging shoppers to purchase by delivering high quality content that provides rich, engaging customer experiences remains an area of improvement for all of the beauty brands assessed. As we continue to see beauty brands stay ahead of other retail industries, we look forward to seeing what rich content features they come up with next!

In the meantime, check out the Amplience Big Content Index and reach out if you’re interested in how we can help you meet the content challenge head on.

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