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Shiseido Co., Ltd.
Case Study

Web BC Counseling brings customers to the stores

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Background: Tackling counseling for the Internet Age

The history of Shiseido, which celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2014, is also the history of one-on-one counseling with the customer.

The company started as a dispensing pharmacy soon after the Meiji Restoration in 1872. The pharmacist chats with customers and checks their complexion and condition before handing over the medicine. Even when Shiseido moved into cosmetics in 1934, specialist beauticians gained the trust of their female customers by providing one-on-one counseling during which they discussed their skin conditions or skin problems and then recommended suitable beauty products. They may be called beauty consultants nowadays, but they have inherited the same spirit of providing women with friendly support as "evangelists of beauty" and wanting to make them more beautiful.

With the number of women obtaining information from the Internet increasing rapidly as we enter the 21st century, Shiseido decided to launch online counseling. Naturally, the new online service would have to provide the same quality of one-on-one counseling that had been cultivated over many years.

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Solution: The key to customer-friendly counseling is the use of hand-drawn images

In department stores and other retail outlets the beauty consultant uses a "face sheet" (a sheet of paper with a drawing of a face on it) to provide concrete instructions about how to apply make-up or do massages. By illustrating with a pen exactly where on the face and in what direction make-up should be applied, the consultant can give each customer a visual understanding of the make-up that best suits her.

How can this service be provided online?The decisive factor was the LCD pen tablet.

When beauty consultants draw on an LCD pen tablet, as they would do on a face sheet, the image appears on the screen of the customer's PC at the other end of the telephone line. The combination of screen-based communication and telephone conversation allows the beauty consultant to provide the same detailed counseling as a one-on-one encounter in the store.

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Shiseido considered products that enabled finger-touch drawing and solutions that digitized hard copy drawings, but eventually adopted Wacom's LCD pen tablet. Shiseido recognized Wacom's long track record in design-oriented pen tablets and was also impressed by the realistic pen pressure, familiar hand-drawing sensation and detailed drawing capability that the pen tablet offered.

The counseling requires various other materials as well as the face sheet, so Shiseido chose the DTU-2231 LCD pen tablet with 21.5 inch wide LCD display, full HD resolution (1920x1080) and full color 167.7 million color display.

Bridging the customer to the store from the Web

Since its founding as a Western-style pharmacy for the first time in Japan, Shiseido Co., Ltd., has been leading the culture and cosmetic technology in Japan. In order to Rei tree Japanese women, to provide our customers with service of Web BC counseling that corresponds to the changes of the times, while inheriting the founding spirit, bridging the customer to the store from the Web, we aim to improve customer satisfaction.

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Effect: Customer satisfaction rate of about 90%

The Watashi Plus online counseling service started in April 2012.

The service is popular, with a customer satisfaction rate of about 90%. With the consultant's hand-drawn instructions now appearing on their PC screens, customers who had been expecting just a video phone conversation with the consultant were surprised at how close to instore counseling the online service is. Others were impressed at how much can now be done online.

Customers also liked the fact that they could receive professional counseling from anywhere in Japan and the convenience of being able to save the counseling material on their PCs as a beauty plan.

For the future, Shiseido is investigating visual enhancements by further developing and exploiting the product's hand drawing capabilities. For example, it wants to bring warmth to the sometimes cold world of online communication and to be able to show the actual luster of lipstick after its application.

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