Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Clinique Malaysia e-commerce site scores another first for the "dramatically different" skincare brand.

Those of you who's been reading me since the beginning would know how much I love shopping online. I found most things that may be difficult to find in our stores and I love the convenience that comes with it. 

When it comes to skincare, we could find many of the products we like which are not via direct distribution by the brand itself. For me, I'd usually get mine from a third party online site if the price is right.

So when I received an email from Clinique about 3 weeks back, I was ecstatic. 

It's not just about the brand and its products now available online, it is also a name that is close to my heart. From the final year of my being a university student, I had used its most basic 3-step skincare and there are just so many things I love about the products. Even my first foundation I used when I participated in the cultural group in uni was by Clinique. Oh how can I forget how beautiful my skin looked with the Almost Makeup foundation, now discontinued. 
Through the years I've amassed so much more from Clinique and there was always something good about something. Unfortunately, I noticed that there have been so little stuff that I wrote before on this brand and I think I should start documenting more diligently on every single thing I bought and used.

So why does one need to be excited about Clinique finally having an e-commerce site for us Malaysians? Well, I can give you several reasons why you should be, apart from it being a serious player in the prestige skincare market:
  1. Convenience
  2. Now I don't know why people do not use online facilities. Online transactions are so convenient where you are in the comfort of your space and it is just you and your laptop/tablet checking away things you need. There's no need for you to drive out, looking for parking, paying for parking and having to queue up at the counter, especially if you basically already know what you need to buy.
  3. Quick and easy
  4. Online shopping experience is always about making it quick and pleasant. I've not found any e-commerce site that does not give you that pleasant experience. You could instantly see if a product you need is out of stock and if you at first had the product checked but then decided that you don't really need it, you could always "remove" the particular product just before you check out to pay for the items. Plus, let's face it, the increasing stressful demands of work and personal commitments sometimes give you such a small window of time for you to shop. So, while you are having that toilet break at work, you could have already bought that serum which is depleting soon :)
  5. Package arrives at your doorstep
  6. The thing I love about reputable brands is their commitment to delivering the well-packaged items promptly right at your doorstep. I remember ordering my Mac mini online and I didn't need to carry the heavy load to my car, up the elevator and struggle with my house keys. I had to just wait and the doorbell rings for me to sign for the package. How exciting. 
  7. Price reference check
  8. The best part about having an e-commerce site for me, is that I use it for price reference. I mean when it comes to skincare especially those that I know I can purchase from a third party online store at a sizeable loyalty discount, I'd just have a quick glance say at Sephora when I'm window shopping and I'd know how much I could save while I decide whether I'd shop online or direct at the store. In this case, with Clinique.com.my, you could even check how much you'd need to save or spend for whichever products you wish to replenish. This would be helpful especially if you decide to say splurge at least RM400 in order for you to get this particular gifts-with-purchase at a specific counter. Therefore, you could be a smart shopper and already have the list in your hands. And I am all about being a smart shopper :D
  9. Skip the annoying sales person
  10. When it comes to skincare, sometimes I'd just want to buy 1 or 2 items tops. With sales people around, it's only natural for them to cross-sell certain items you probably can use but do not need and worse still make you buy more than you need so that you get freebies that more often than not, items that you can live without. I also hate the argument of getting a bottle of toner for an answer like "we only have clarifying lotion" as a response. Sigh. So, online shopping beats having to get all stressed out for nothing ;)
At the launch, Clinique up the ante with more sense as to why they are now the first skincare brand in its category to have an e-commerce site and why you should take advantage of shopping online on Clinique.com.my.

Firstly, it's due to the increase number of the Malaysian population being connected to the internet, holding mobile data accounts and the "like" figures of Clinique Malaysia's fb page - it's only natural that the brand would want to give more to its fans. Furthermore, they have strong data that suggests a big number of people who has at least purchased one product online. This would also allow Clinique users who may not be staying or working in close proximity to a Clinique counter to purchase their favourite items.

Secondly, users can also do an online custom-fit skincare diagnostic to see which products suit your skin concerns best. Click on "My Skin Consultation" and it will ask you to provide your email address for your consent before they store your information. Don't worry if you're asked repeatedly for you to register your email address if you decide to do another diagnostic for a different skin concern as each time you do that, your consent is needed for the information to be stored in your account.

Thirdly, you'd be able to view the detailed product description and how to use them. Some of the products already have reviews written on them and you could then decide if the review is useful as a decision-making factor. Bear in mind that the reviews aren't just from local users. The only thing I would like to see is the list of ingredients of their products. Now that would be just perfect, wouldn't it?

Fourthly, if you are unhappy with the items you ordered, Clinique.com.my has a return/exchange policy where it allows you to return the products, no questions asked. Simply return the unused portion and you will be reimbursed the full amount of your purchase. Now I know a lot of us might misuse this benefit, so be sure to find out their terms.

Fifth, unlike your orders with a third party distributor, items you buy from Clinique.com.my is guaranteed assurance of quality as they are being stored in a warehouse with temperature control for the items to remain fresh. Items are also authentic and shipped to you with the strictest requirements to ensure their products get to you in the best form, just like how it should be if you had bought them at the counters.

Sixth, you can opt for the delivery of the products to be on the same day, a standard delivery time or at a date you choose. Now, this point, is awesome. Seriously, unheard. Yet.

I think another feature I'd like to add which reminds me of my experience purchasing from a UK online store years back was that the package also came with samples. I always appreciate samples because I get to discover if a product works well with my skin. But samples are hard to come by. However, I am happy to note that Clinique.com.my would throw in some treats for you for non-value sets and accessories orders.
treats currently available with every online order

And, the purchase of RM250 and above will entitle you to a free delivery

So why else wouldn't you shop at Clinique.com.my? Have you played around with the e-commerce site yet?


prettybeautiful.net said...

hmm i thought i left a comment already but it disappeared. i was saying:

i am not much a fan of clinique products other than the extra moisture surge. but it's nice to know that they do online now and if i have something to buy, i can avoid the counters. i hate to be bugged by SA, and worse the look they give me when i say 'i am just looking around'. damn, do i look like i cant afford your products?!

toughcookie said...

hi prettybeautiful,
I totally agree with you on how intimidating it can be visiting their counters. if you read the complaints of SAs in their fb page, I just wonder if its the customers who are being unreasonable or if their SAs really need proper training. it's not about being able to look pretty and neat to their customers, they should also be able to carry themselves well when dealing with customers.

I used to buy a lot of their products but I shy away from going to their counters because of this fact. Hence, if I do need to get their items, I'd usually buy them online. With this online site now up, I believe I'm gonna get more stuff direct with them.

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