Shiseido Empowers Its Beauty Consultants with Mobile Apps

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IBM collaborated with Shiseido to empower its nearly 10,000 beauty consultants in Japan with mobile apps designed to provide new customer services, customer-centric product improvements and social innovations.

With the global beauty care products industry forecasted to reach approximately $265 billion in 20171, Shiseido has been investing across its product lines and in technologies, including information technology, to empower its global brand ambassadors/consultants to gain market share and improve customer satisfaction.

Shiseido selected the IBM MobileFirst Platform to develop and secure an enterprise app for its "Beauty Tablet," which it launched in 2013. The mobile app built on the IBM MobileFirst Platform has multiple modules and increasing capabilities for internal operations. Integrated to Shiseido's back-end systems, the app is a beauty consultant's one-stop mobile solution for communications, scheduling, reporting and other tasks that increase productivity.

"We are marking the 80th anniversary of the Shiseido beauty consultant (a role that continues to transform the relationship between the customer and our products), and with new mobile apps, Shiseido Beauty Consultants continue to engage customers with 'Omotenashi' (the Japanese spirit of hospitality) to differentiate the Shiseido customer experience," said Chikako Sekine, corporate executive officer, Shiseido Co., Ltd. "IBM is a valuable partner, supporting our company's long term vision to continuously enhance our brand value and drive growth and leadership in the global beauty industry."

One module in the app creates a virtual community for beauty consultants to learn from each other. By sharing photos, tips and tricks, and commenting on each other's work, consultants across Japan build a greater sense of pride and teamwork, according to the company. Social data analytics identify best practices and incorporate knowledge and know-how into future training, toward building consistent service and skills.

"With more consumers expecting personalized experiences across every channel, brands must empower their salespeople with the tools and insight to provide greater customer service," said Phil Buckellew, vice president, enterprise mobile, IBM. "IBM's partnership with Shiseido will help maximize and accelerate its mobile strategies to drive greater brand differentiation and higher levels of engagement."

1. Lucintel, "Global Beauty Care Products Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit, and Forecast Analysis"