French cosmetics firm L’Oréal is one of the major brands pushing into conversational commerce by making themselves accessible to customers all over Southeast Asia, and with particular traction in Vietnam.

This is according to a new piece on WARC – The case for conversational commerce: How L’Oréal chats with Vietnam – which tracks the rise of this trend.

Already, c-commerce is gaining traction in the region. About three in 10 consumers in Southeast Asia have made c-commerce purchases, based on a separate 2019 Facebook-commissioned study conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) across nine markets, including the APAC markets of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Speaking at an IAB SEA+India webinar, Karen Teo, Facebook’s global business group vice president for APAC, said: “Since starting conversational commerce, buyers report spending 60% more. Trust and reassurance are key factors to the buyer’s experience on c-commerce.”

Furthermore, c-commerce spurs even seasoned buyers to spend more as the relationships they build with trusted sellers reduce the friction of buying online. They also tend to make more impulse purchases and spend more to qualify for discounts or free shipping.

For L’Oréal Vietnam’s chief digital officer Pierre-Olivier Guy, this is a trend that holds true for the beauty giant. “We see higher penetration of conversational commerce within the more mature population, aged above 30.”

“If I sell a fragrance on e-commerce, I may need a promotion or a discount,” Guy said. “But on c-commerce, it is all about the experience, the quality of the story, and meaningful conversations.”

The French cosmetics company has explored c-commerce in the past two years or so in Vietnam, where the beauty category sees high online penetration of over 30%. Its apothecary-inspired brand Kiehl’s initially started using messaging to ensure fast responses to customer enquiries but quickly saw the potential for sales through chat. It ran an end-to-end c-commerce campaign on Facebook, collecting orders via Messenger and directing them to its logistics and inventory management department.

“We saw outstanding results,” said Guy. The campaign increased sales by 22% and increased weekly conversations four-fold.

Sourced from WARC, Facebook/BCG; additional content by WARC staff