SUMMARY

The Customer: 
Chalhoub Group is the largest retail operator in the Middle East. The company has more than 12,000 employees, in 14 countries. The case study centers on Faces, a beauty retail chain operating 85 stores in the Middle East.

The Challenge: 
Faces, along with Chalhoub as a whole are on a path of digital transformation. To achieve that goal, one of their main pillars is empowering frontliners to deliver on a remarkable experience to their customers.

The Solution:
Enhancer offered Faces’ retail staff the ability to delight customers with a superior experience through Aura Labs’ proprietary technology and simple UI, while unlocking data for Faces that was used to improve the stores’ operation.

The Benefit:
Faces’ management was able to improve the retail experience for its customers, empower its staff, and get access to data that allowed them to improve stock levels & assortment efficiency.

“The data can not only help us improve omni channel, but also, get customer knowledge and their tastes, and optimise assortment per store based on socio demographics and stay stocked on testers that inhibit sales along with making every beauty advisor a perfume expert”

Joe, Senior Product Manager

Faces is the leading beauty retailer in the region with 20 years of presence and expertise in the market. With 85 stores across 9 countries and an online presence, they are pioneers in beauty retail in the region. As part of the company’s 900 day challenge to become a hybrid retailer in a time where digital transformation is mandatory for the thriving of a retail business, Faces’ ethos is to collaborate with startups that will enable them to not only meet, but exceed the new shopper norms.

The Fragrance Shopper of Today


Shoppers in 2019 expect retailers to delight them. To offer them products tailored to their needs. To continue to provide them with value across the shopper journey. And most of all, to be credible and trustworthy as a merchant.

“If we want employees to offer more to the customer, we have to offer more to the employees to give them the means to do so.” said Aura Labs founder Aboudy El Farkh.”

To be able to exceed such demands from shoppers, beauty retailers like Faces, needed to tap into the individual as well as the collective preferences of shoppers in each of their stores. They needed to turn the experience from impersonal to personal. From a generally challenging fragrance discovery process to a seamless, pleasant and personalized discovery journey.

Research done at Aura Lab suggests that 19% of shoppers enter the store with no idea of what to buy, and another 46% have somewhat of an idea of the scent they’d want. Since we carry hundreds of perfumes, and shoppers are likely not to smell more than 4 to 6 of them, we may miss out on delivering moments of delight, and end up foregoing a sale, when a BA can’t find something that speaks to the customer. This happens 1 in 4 times when the shopper enters the store with the intent to purchase a fragrance.

“Effectively what this does for us, is turn every BA into a fragrance expert, regardless of their training”Lara Dabbur, Sales Manager at Faces

Perpetual Improvements

We started working towards the main objective of boosting sales, however, in the process we discovered many more benefits with the Aura Lab PWA, like knowing the shoppers, their tastes, the assortments’ efficiency, detecting tester out of stock.

  • Assortment Efficiency:

We were also able to identify brands and product lines that consumers used. This allowed us to harness that data and have constructive conversations as to how the assortment can be improved per shop.

  • Out of Stock Improvements:

Out of stock samples, testers and products in general are a big issue faced in fragrance stores and beauty advisors are unable to flag those in real time. Via Aura Labs’ web app, we were able to inform category management about tester out of stocks. Ensuring that testers are stocked at all times, especially among the best sellers, could lead to an uptick of up to 0.7% in sales volume.

  • Machine-Learning that works:

Thanks to machine learning and close monitoring of the recommendations by Aura Labs, the quality of recommendations increased over time. We measured a 40% net improvement in the shoppers ratings of their personalized recommendations.

  • Salesperson Satisfaction

We regularly measured via surveys and NPS if the Beauty advisors were satisfied with the app and collected feedback on the ground via store visits. BAs were seeing the benefits on the qualitative front. They were happy with the experience, the quality of the recommendations and the impressions from shoppers.  Nothing is more revealing than the NPS score of 52 that the Aura Labs application has shown compared to the beauty retail average of 37.

“We look forward to continue working with Faces on innovative solutions that tackle every part of the shopping journey and to continue to carve the path towards the retail of the future”Aboudy El Farkh, Aura Labs Founder

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