Kamel Ouadi, the new L’Oréal CRM and e‑business director for China, met with L’Atelier BNP Paribas at his new Shanghai office. Ouadi came from Paris in January to implement a new marketing strategy that is already succeeding with eLadies, a site developed in partnership with China’s number-one portal, Sina.com. L’Atelier: How is L'Oréal using the Internet to market itself in China? Kamel Ouadi: We are primarily experimenting with the tremendously popular portal eLadies launched in April 2002 in partnership with the number-one Chinese portal, Sina, which attracts two million visitors a day and has nine million members. Our approach is mainly service oriented. We provide information on all our product lines and upcoming events.

L’Atelier: Are Chinese consumers (women in this case) easy to reach?

KO: Our marketing strategy is win-win. We offer consumers more information on our products while at the same time learning more about them. That’s what eLadies and its interactive approach are all about—letting websurfers have their say.

L’Atelier: Do you see a future for e-business in your industry?

KO: Today, eLadies is primarily a platform for communication between the consumer and our brands. We are not currently selling products online, like Lancôme does in France and the United States, but we are considering it. Of all the products purchased online in China, 15.4% are cosmetics and accessories according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). This is well above the worldwide average.

To see L’Oréal’s eLadies for China, go to www.eladies.com.cn

By Julie Desné