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"This is not the finish line. This is the start of something bigger.", Jeff Shih, Benefit Cosmetics

The San Francisco makeup house has grown exponentially since their initiation in 1976. Today, they command the attention of millions of consumers around the globe, selling in over 30 countries, across 5 continents and are renowned for their energetic, fun brand persona.

Benefit San Francisco logo

Benefit Cosmetics have embarked on an ambitious journey; to bring an intricately designed digital experience directly to customers across their diverse markets. With a central vision to serve their growing number of customers against a digital backdrop, September 2020 marked a key milestone in shaping their customer-centricity – their reimagined online launch.

Concealing weak foundations

Even before the advent of accelerated digital adoption triggered by COVID, Benefit were positioning themselves to lead the pack. To realize their vision of a leading consumer digital estate, Benefit understood they had to phase out their incumbent ecommerce platform. The existing infrastructure simply did not comprise of the core capabilities needed to meet the predicted surge in demand. This challenge coupled with other infrastructure deficiencies, including inefficient site management, superfluous code, and non-compliance.

Benefit cosmetics products

Of paramount importance to Benefit is the ability to coherently speak to consumers across their 42 markets of operation. Speaking the local language is a key component in converting passive browsers into loyal brand advocates. The previous site platform did not comply with the proper URL language structure sharing multiple language translation for the same locale – a massive fly in the soup.

A beautiful cosmetic upgrade

Benefit had the vision and the strategy to execute against it; overcome technical hurdles, lead the industry with a compelling digital infrastructure for consumers, and reflect the brand ethos through a stunning digital experience.

Optimizely glossed the requirements. An equally powerful platform within both Content Management and Commerce, capable of multi-market, automation translation detection, multilingual and multi-channel functions. Benefit will enjoy faster speed to market for campaigns, product launches and branded content. The single cloud based stack for managing all their sites heralded a new chapter in Benefit’s brand story. The Benefit team have a stronger online presence that will evolve further with the introduction of smart product recommendations.

Optimizely Gold partner, Guidance helped Benefit centralize their dozens of localized websites into one unified content management platform leveraging Optimizely Commerce Cloud. After Benefit selected Guidance for the project, the two companies engaged in a true partnership from start to finish, where Guidance designers worked as an extension of Benefit's design team, and where Benefit's in-house developers integrated with the Guidance development team. Guidance collaborated with the Benefit team to build best-practice workflows, a master library of components, and a style system that would streamline their design process for the future.

Glamming up with final touches

Today, Benefit Cosmetics encapsulate audiences with fond use of vivid, vibrant imagery to create brand essence, without being superfluous. The live mix of product reviews and independent feedback provides a conversational tone for each item. The neat arrangement of navigation results in visitors not being bombarded or flooded with mountainous reels of information. Benefit have employed a content strategy that is appealing and resonant, without being intrusive.

We look forward to reporting what the next 6-months holds.


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