More than skin deep: How Dermalogica grows loyalty with WhatsApp

Personal consultations are central to Dermalogica's success. But today's customer wants to get help whenever, wherever – not always in-store. Dermalogica now offers the option to have a consultation in WhatsApp – meeting customers wherever they are, and gaining brand loyalty and sales.

Louisa Schiminski, eCommerce Manager, Dermalogica

Louisa Schiminski
eCommerce Manager


WhatsApp consultations with delighted customers


click-through rate with Valentine's campaign


revenue per conversation (RPC) for monthly WhatsApp offer

"They have us in their pocket now, what could be better?"

edit The goal: get closer to customers digitally

Dermalogica is a leading skincare brand with a clear aim: to share expertise and keep talking directly to customers. To reach customers in a more direct way, the brand recently started using WhatsApp for its consultations, broadening accessibility of expertise. Read on for the story of why it chose WhatsApp, how it works within the team and what it plans to do next.


Dermalogica's consultative approach has been key to its global success. Traditionally, the brand has worked closely with skincare therapists – who offer treatments and products in their cosmetic institutes.


Over the years, this strategy has won the brand a large base of extremely loyal fans – a sticky customer base that's the envy of other skincare brands. 


As Louisa Schiminski, eCommerce Manager, Dermalogica Germany explains: "Every person's skincare needs are different. Customers appreciate finding products just for them. This has been a core goal of Dermalogica since the beginning." 


Recently, Dermalogica has started offering online consultations too.


However, online, it's not so easy to stay in direct communication with customers. Social media channels are impersonal and public – where skincare is a personal subject. Live chat is one solution, but it still maintains a distance between customers and the brand, with everything through the web browser.


Dermalogica was looking for a way to communicate with customers that was more direct, personal and first-hand, to understand customers better and help them find the right product for their skin.


This is in line with Dermalogica's global strategy: "We have great retention as a company. Customers are with us for as long as 20 years. We see that people who contact us once, contact us again and again," says Louisa. "Our focus this year globally is on engagement."


The brand decided it didn't want to use a chatbot because it values personal connections. It wanted to send personal messages to maintain the great 1:1 experience its customers have come to expect.

route The solution: WhatsApp consultations and campaigns

In August 2023, Dermalogica decided to trial WhatsApp as a solution. It partnered with charles for the WhatsApp platform and support, and hired a Community Manager to offer personal skincare advice.


By offering 1:1 WhatsApp consultations, Dermalogica has become one of the first major skincare brands to pioneer WhatsApp this way. 


Louisa says, "We're happy we started with WhatsApp last year. We're one of the first to do this in skincare and we're very proud of that."




Screenshot 2024-03-14 at 12.45.45

Screenshot 2024-03-14 at 12.45.18

WhatsApp consultations offered on Dermalogica Germany's website




Dermalogica now offers WhatsApp consultations from 9am to 4.30pm as part of its consultation services in Germany


At the heart of Dermalogica's WhatsApp strategy is its dedicated Community Manager, Lara Pützer. Lara is a cosmetician certified by Dermalogica to offer skincare advice and has a deep knowledge of its products. 


As well as chatting to customers on WhatsApp, she also handles the live chat and email communications – so WhatsApp is just one channel in her toolkit. The result of this is that customers can choose the channel that suits them best, and Dermalogica can always meet them where they are. 


In addition to 1:1 consultations, Dermalogica sends occasional WhatsApp campaigns to drive revenue, engagement and awareness. Each message has an "unsubscribe" footer (set up in the charles platform) so customers can easily leave the chat, and Dermalogica can stay GDPR compliant.




Dermalogica WhatsApp marketing campaign offerRather than discounts, Dermalogica offers monthly "gifts," like this one for February




Dermalogica also regularly sends monthly offers and gifts with purchase, enabling them to test different messages and incentives for optimal customer response.


Where many brands use WhatsApp to send offers and discounts, Dermalogica, as a premium beauty brand, has taken a restrained approach. 


"We very rarely offer discounts. Only 10% off for email and WhatsApp subscribers plus winback discounts. We try to focus on quality and don't want to be seen as a bargain brand. We've kept this approach in WhatsApp too and it's working well for us so far.


"We're happy we can translate our brand so easily into this new channel."

The partner: leading WhatsApp platform and support

Dermologica's partnership with charles has been instrumental in its WhatsApp marketing success.


The comprehensive features of the charles platform suited Dermologica's needs.


"Given several options, we focused on charles mainly because, for us, it’s an all-in-one solution. We needed integrations with Shopify and Klaviyo, our main CRM tool, and charles could offer that."


Email is still a relevant channel for Dermalogica: "Email works really well for us. We use it for educational content and driving sales. WhatsApp is just another retention channel we're adding to the mix."


Dermologica has been thrilled with its collaboration with charles. From the initial introduction to ongoing support, charles has proven to be a reliable and responsive partner.


Regular catch-up meetings and quick responses to queries have fostered a strong working relationship. Dermologica appreciates the deep insights provided by charles, enabling them to track campaign performance and revenue.



WhatsApp conversation Dermalogica x charles 3Some customers even send photos and voice messages to Lara over WhatsApp (Image: charles' Conversations)



"The ability to compare WhatsApp and email marketing results has been invaluable in shaping our future strategies." 


A key factor that's led to Dermalogica's positive success in WhatsApp and charles is the relationship with charles' Customer Success Manager.


"We have a great connection with Oli," says Louisa, "We join weekly catchups where we talk about campaigns, what’s going on with charles and get answers to all our questions. Also, he's always there if we need him, not just soon but ASAP. If we have any problems, he and the tech team do their best to sort it out. He's been a great companion on whole journey. We're happy to work with him."

The results: the perfect customer loyalty tool, with room to grow

Dermalogica is delighted with the results of its WhatsApp channel. After only a few months, it already sees high engagement in its 1:1 WhatsApp consultations and campaigns.


According to Louisa, "In customer service, it's not always easy to measure concrete results, but the 1:1 consultations are achieving our goal of increasing customer engagement. We see the reactions from customers when Lara can solve their skin issues: heart emojis and great feedback. And of course all this leads to sales and brand loyalty." 


That said, the numbers are also excellent – Dermalogica has had great revenue success with campaigns for Black Friday and monthly campaigns. One standout campaign was the Valentine's Day lottery, where participants could win one of 3 different skincare routines. This creative approach not only created excitement and engagement but also resulted in an impressive click-through rate of 40%.


And this is just the beginning. Dermalogica now has a solid WhatsApp foundation and knowledge on which it can easily build into the future as technology and customer awareness develops.


Louisa says, "WhatsApp, with charles, is working brilliantly for us so far. We're now looking to add more Journeys to automate flows for post-purchase and answers to common questions. This will save us time so we can spend more on 1:1 consultations.


"Now, that charles has integrated their own analytics feature for revenue, we have deeper insights into our revenue generation. This is really helpful, providing us with new learnings so we can improve constantly. It also gives us a direct insight into how WhatsApp is performing compared to email. So far, the conversion on WhatsApp exceeds email. Now, we just need to scale the channel for even better results."

stars 3 WhatsApp highlights for Dermalogica

1. Personal conversations with happy customers

WhatsApp conversation Dermalogica x charles 4

Community Manager, Lara, enjoys daily productive and revenue-generating WhatsApp conversations with customers. They can easily send her pictures of their skin so she can help them find the right product and send links to purchase.

2. High-performing WhatsApp campaigns

Dermalogica WhatsApp marketing campaign Valentines

Dermalogica sends seasonal campaigns quickly and easily, and tracks results, through charles' Campaigns feature – like this one for Valentine's day that earned a revenue per conversation (RPC) of €3.20.

3. Strong differentiator from competitors and ready for the future

WhatsApp conversation Dermalogica

Few skincare brands are using WhatsApp in this way. Dermalogica is positioned to stand out from the market with this innovative approach, and the learnings it makes now will keep it far ahead as other brands join WhatsApp.

💛35 What's next?


Implementing charles new automated birthday greeting feature


Transfer more activities to WhatsApp, like facemapping and quizzes


Connect loyalty program with WhatsApp API and charles

Looking ahead, Dermalogica has ambitious plans for its WhatsApp channel.

It aims to optimize its loyalty program, allowing customers to earn points by joining WhatsApp.

Dermalogica also plans to explore automation and flows to automate processes, reach more people, more easily and gain deeper insights into customer preferences and behaviors.

By continually innovating and refining its WhatsApp marketing strategy, Dermalogica aims to stay ahead of the competition and provide a truly personal skincare experience uniquely in WhatsApp.

"Mobile first is the way to go for a few years already. WhatsApp is kicking off now in Germany, but even so it's a risk to get into a new channel with little experience. In the last 6 months it's been proven to be an exciting retention and revenue channel. We can't wait to expand to other use cases and markets.

"We're thankful we started out with charles, we couldn't have a more supportive partner with us on this journey."

Want more from Dermalogica? Check out Louisa's insights in WhatsApp Wisdom for skincare brands.


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