Laura Geller Beauty needed to increase website capacity to support high traffic during sales and promotions. To ensure sufficient site performance, the company chose Blucarat Commerce, built on Windows
Azure and created by New York–based e-commerce expert Blucarat. Laura Geller Beauty also chose Blucarat Social, which complements Blucarat Commerce with rich social-collaboration capabilities. Consequently, the company’s revenue and market reach have rapidly
Laura Geller Beauty offers high-quality, prestige cosmetics and is renowned for its range of baked makeup products, which are hand-crafted in Italy to deliver vibrant yet weightless color. Years ago, Laura Geller Beauty recognized that direct online sales would
be a key source of revenue, but early versions of its web store did not reflect the company’s vision.
“Laura Geller Beauty is about making beauty easy and approachable. Our mission is to ‘help you achieve your most beautiful self,’” explains Alyce Cucurullo, President of Laura Geller Beauty. “We needed a highly functional e-store to support a stronger brand
identity and reach more of our customers.” She further notes that this vision includes creating a sense of community among customers through social media.
With its rising popularity, Laura Geller Beauty achieved accelerated site traffic, through promotions on QVC, and email-marketing campaigns. During popular sales, traffic sometimes increased 10-fold in one day, exceeding the capacity of the company’s existing
Similarly, Laura Geller Beauty wasn’t able to take advantage of bigger online marketing opportunities. For instance, when Good Morning America asked Laura Geller Beauty to participate in its high-profile ‘Beauty Steal of the Day’ segment, the company initially
had to pass it up. “We could not risk a site crash, and I would not allow our introduction to the Good Morning America audience to be anything but a success,” says Cucurullo.
Laura Geller Beauty needed a flexible web platform and hosting solution that could scale to keep up with its sales and traffic spurts and with overall business growth. The platform would also have to support the company’s social marketing initiatives.
To address these challenges, Laura Geller Beauty worked with Blucarat. The Microsoft Partner Network member builds social commerce websites for midsize to enterprise-level online retailers and provides a full set of digital marketing and media services designed
to boost consumer engagement, drive qualified traffic, and increase online conversion. Laura Geller Beauty upgraded its web platform to the partner’s most advanced version of Blucarat Commerce—a high-performance e-commerce platform, content management suite,
and online transaction technology with advanced marketing and order management capabilities.
||With our Blucarat-powered website running in the stable, scalable Windows Azure cloud, we easily handle huge spikes in traffic and billing transactions.
| Alyce Cucurullo
President, Laura Geller Beauty
More recently, Laura Geller Beauty adopted a beta version of Blucarat Social, which brings social commerce capabilities to the company’s web store. The technology powers the Laura Geller Beauty Bar—a virtual community for the company’s social media customers.
With Blucarat Social, Laura Geller Beauty also gains “social listening,” for visibility into its customers’ interests, interactions, and recommendations, before and after they make a purchase, all in real-time.
“Blucarat demonstrated a deep appreciation for the social side of our brand,” says Cucurullo. “Anybody can put together a pretty website, but Blucarat understands the convergence of e-commerce and social.” She also notes the importance of ongoing Blucarat managed
services and help with marketing and messaging efforts. Laura Geller Beauty had previously looked at other vendors’ services but rejected them as being incomplete.
Blucarat selected Windows Azure cloud hosting for its high reliability and scalability, and because it works seamlessly with Microsoft technologies, it is familiar to the Blucarat developer staff. These include the Microsoft .NET Framework and the Microsoft
the .NET Framework for more efficient performance.
Laura Geller Beauty uses the entire Blucarat solution suite running in the reliable, scalable Windows Azure cloud to meet spikes in demand. The company also uses social-collaboration features in Blucarat Social to promote a sense of community and loyalty among
customers and to drive social conversations.
Unlimited Site Capacity
Blucarat Commerce powered by Windows Azure scales to meet any level of site traffic that Laura Geller Beauty requires. For example, a year after the previously missed opportunity, Good Morning America again approached Laura Geller Beauty for a cosmetics promotion.
“We accepted the offer, and our Blucarat site performed flawlessly,” says Cucurullo, “even with a 100-fold traffic increase.” She notes that 91 percent of traffic was first-time visitors—a key indicator that Laura Geller Beauty can attract and is able to support
an ever-growing audience of online shoppers.
More Shoppers, Higher Sales
More Laura Geller Beauty customers means more billing transactions. The ability to handle transaction growth is especially critical given the company’s already stellar conversion rates. “During a recent flash sale, we reached 16.7 percent conversion with no
payment processing slowdowns,” says Cucurullo. She estimates that this translates into a two-fold monthly revenue increase. She also notes that any site downtime or failed shopping carts are truly a thing of the past.
Social Features for Repeat Business
Laura Geller Beauty has only begun to tap into the social features of Blucarat, but early results foretell successes to come. Cucurullo says, “Social can be the biggest gift when you have an active, engaged community who loves your brand. And we have that.”
A loyal following of customers called the “Geller Girls” already spreads the word about Laura Geller Beauty through social media, such as Facebook. As the Geller Girls and their referrals shift toward socializing on the Laura Geller Beauty site—through Blucarat
Social—the brand gains valuable analytics about their shopping behavior.
Cucurullo concludes, “Our website is, at its core, powered by Windows Azure, so we know it will keep up with us as we grow. I can go home at night without worrying about site crashes. That’s when I say to myself, ‘Nicely done Blucarat. Nicely done Microsoft.’”
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