Case study: Shiseido Professional

Shiseido Professional delivers beauty worldwide, at twice the speed and half the cost

Shiseido Professional, a division of one of the world’s most-recognized cosmetics brands, was seeking a modern way to create and manage online content when it engaged innovation and design company, R/GA. The company wanted complete control over its own content, lower content creation and operating costs, and a cloud-based architecture that could scale Shiseido Professional’s digital efforts to support its business goals.

With operations in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North and South America, Shiseido Professional’s digital estate is complex. The company offers beauty salon owners and stylists a wide range of products on its site, including styling and trend tips, an e-learning platform, digital tools for stylists to use with their clients, and treatment recommendation engines. The company needs to address its customers in their own languages, and in culturally appropriate ways.

Today we are more connected. We work faster. And everything we do can be updated instantly. - Claudia Kim, Vice President and Global Brand Director of Shiseido Professional

Before its digital platform initiative, Shiseido Professional lacked a consolidated platform as well as a centralized solution for content management, which made content management and content publishing a lengthy and costly process, involving several external partners and vendors. This also created brand inconsistencies across different markets and digital properties.

Shiseido Professional sought a centralized, unified platform that would help it keep content and brand consistent across its entire online presence, including social media and digital advertising. The new platform had to enable internal content creators to do their work quickly and easily, in the language and manner appropriate to their specific markets. Most important of all, Shiseido Professional wanted to increase site traffic and engagement, drive more revenue and lower development costs.

R/GA created a “Lean Experience Stack” for Shiseido Professional so all of their aforementioned needs would be met. R/GA decided Contentful was the best content management solution to join this customized stack for Shiseido Professional.

Part of creating impactful customer experiences is the need for an agile content management solution, and we’ve found Contentful to be the right partner for us. - Anthony Baker, Executive Technology Director at R/GA Tokyo

Shiseido Professional marketers and other content creators can now easily collaborate on creation, publication, updating and management of all content internally, without reliance on outside vendors. Content development costs are half what they used to be, and publication that used to take a month or more can now take just minutes. With Contentful as part of the stack, content and brand are easily kept consistent across all of Shisedo’s digital properties, and across social media and digital advertising, too. And Shiseido Professional is able to address its customers in any of eight languages across its 12 different regions.

In the first week, we created a proof of concept replicating some of Shiseido Professional’s web experiences, and demonstrated how, with Contentful, the content could be easily edited and published in 30 seconds. Our client was very impressed. - Anthony Baker, Executive Technology Director at R/GA Tokyo

Best of all, site traffic and engagement metrics have increased hugely since Shiseido Professional began using their Lean Experience Stack. The company was able to start small, measure success and then scale up across its regional markets as its new content platform and working methods proved successful. R/GA designed Shiseido Professional’s new platform to scale for future needs, and now the company can confidently project monthly timelines for new digital properties, instead of years.

Contentful enables agencies to build quickly

R/GA was able to build a complete modern content platform for Shiseido Professional in just five months. Shiseido Professional’s new platform provides a modular structure for centralized content management, and includes four customer-facing digital experiences, seven microservices, and administration tools. The platform enables Shiseido Professional to customize for each of its 12 regional markets, in eight languages, and it’s fully scalable for future expansion.

Contentful offers important advantages for agencies — for example, the ability to do rapid prototyping. "We were able to create proofs of concept that demonstrated the value and benefits, and that were vital to getting project approvals,” says Anthony Baker, Executive Technology Director at R/GA Tokyo.

R/GA found the implementation of Contentful “quick and seamless,” Anthony says. The engineering team took just a few weeks to integrate Contentful into the architecture R/GA had designed, iterating in consultation with Shiseido Professional during the production process.

We believe that lean, open and modular technologies are critical for future digital success. Contentful proved able to deliver best-in-class disruptive content infrastructure solutions that fit our architecture and experience principles. - Anthony Baker, Executive Technology Director at R/GA Tokyo

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