Shoppers Drug Mart launches e-comm

The retailer bolsters its digital strategy with an online Beauty Boutique platform, with other verticals expected in the future.

BBShoppers Drug Mart is deepening its digital presence with the launch of its first e-comm platform.

BeautyBoutique.ca, which went live on Wednesday, boasts an assortment of more than 100 prestige brands in areas such as makeup and fragrance with products for women and men, and aims to recreate the experience of the retailer’s brick-and-mortar Beauty Boutiques, with a similar look and feel.

While the site launches with a standard shipping service via Canada Post (delivering blue branded parcels and thank-you notes), the retailer will look at a ship-to-store model down the road, says Cathy Masson, VP category management, beauty. And while this platform is specific to prestige beauty brands, a site for the retailer’s offerings from what’s dubbed “front store” (which includes areas such as OTC, confection and mass cosmetics) is in the works, she adds.

Shoppers has been working closely with parent co Loblaw’s digital team on BeautyBoutique.ca for about a year, with the latter bringing its digital experience (having launched its Click & Collect service and the Joe Fresh site) to the table, says Masson.

“We’ve been looking at our .ca business for a little bit,” she says, when asked whether the platform stemmed from the acquisition, “but having the Loblaw team there actually allowed us to launch earlier than what we had originally planned.”

And while SDM also operates its Murale platform, BeautyBoutique.ca is a separate entity, carrying different exclusive brands such as Korres.

The move into e-comm comes on the heels of the retailer’s digitization of its Optimum loyalty program in May, when it rolled out a new app, site and integrated personalized offers.

The platforms aren’t integrated, as they target different audiences, says Lana Gogos, manager, communication and corporate affairs, with BeautyBoutique.ca geared to the “beauty fanatic” and the app addressing front store and pharmacy.

The retailer is supporting the new e-comm offering with print, in-store integration, digital and PR, with the campaign hashtag #BringBeautyHome. In addition to the Loblaw digital team, SDM also worked with Brooklyn-based agency Huge for the new site’s architecture and design.