Automated merchandising gives Lyko the edge

How automating the heavy-lifting associated with merchandising thousands of hair and beauty products has driven efficiencies for Lyko, while driving revenue thanks to a highly relevant, satisfying and low-friction customer experience. Lyko Hair AB is a pioneer of the hair and beauty sector, with a company history dating back to 1952. Today it operates salons across Sweden and sells to a huge customer base across the EU via its Lyko.se eCommerce site.

The Background
The firm first took its catalogue online in 2003 but much has changed since then, as CEO Rickard Lyko explained: “Our online presence has come a long way since that first online catalogue. For one thing, the product range has expanded a great deal – for instance, today we sell more than 644 types of pink nail polish.”
This is clearly not a business that is content to stand still, and the drive to increase conversions and enhance the customer experience is a constant. Most recently that meant a renewed focus on look and feel, but also, crucially, finding ways to merchandise its entire product range more efficiently and to deliver relevant experiences for every visitor.

Rickard said: “The ultimate aim was to gain the ability to reach infinite segments of one, by enabling our merchandisers to present the best possible selections in the right context and at the right time across devices. The result would be a simplified customer experience, that presents fewer, but more relevant product selections.”

Given that 30% of Lyko’s visitors use site search, it was clear that overhauling its search and merchandising solutions would play a central role in realising those goals.

The Solution
At Lyko, marketing is an increasingly technical discipline. Indeed, its eCommerce operations sit at the intersection between statistics, computer science and marketing – and exponentially growing volumes of customer data are a key driver behind that trend. That had implications for Lyko’s choice of merchandising solution, as Rickard pointed out: “It is essential that the solutions we work with help our merchandisers to deliver relevant product exposures – and, as a leader in the sector we want cutting edge solutions. In this case, that meant a technology able to reflect fast-changing customer behaviour and to help us do away with manual and often tedious online merchandising processes.”
With all this in mind, Lyko turned to Apptus eSales to overhaul its online merchandising capabilities. Rickard commented: “Apptus offered a single, unified solution that promised to deliver all the capabilities we needed across search, navigation, ads and recommendations. Apptus eSales has given us the ability to use real time customer data as the fuel for behavioural search, facetted navigation, ads and trend sensitive contextual recommendations.

The benefits
Apptus eSales has delivered all the enhanced capabilities that Lyko needed. It has enabled the firm to offer a significantly enhanced customer experience and drive revenue improvements while saving time and money through the automation of routine merchandising tasks.

Rickard said: “First of all, we took advantage of automation. By responding to each individual’s on-site behaviour in real time, eSales minimises the need for manual and tedious merchandising. That saves the merchandising team several hours or even days per week, freeing them up to focus on more strategic, higher value activities.”

The move to Apptus has also helped Lyko to be more trend sensitive, staying one step ahead of micro peaks in demand as well as longer term best seller peaks.
In summary, Rickard said: “The solution allows us to maintain an eCommerce site offering great customer experience; where it is easy for customers to find the products or inspiration they need. It enables us to connect with our market in a much more customer-led way, and that ultimately means higher revenue.”

About Lyko
• Lyko.se is part of the hair care company Lyko Hair AB, with hairdressing salons operating across Sweden.
• Lyko.se conduct e-commerce with beauty and hair care products to customers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and also from other EU countries.
• Lyko has 40 physical stores throughout Sweden.

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