Cosmetic giant Shiseido teams up with Accenture for technology

19 May 2021 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read

Accenture is setting up a joint venture with Japan-headquartered global cosmetic and personal care company Shiseido – to help the latter explore the value of digital in the modern consumer market.

Founded in 1872 and headquartered in Tokyo: Shiseido is among the oldest cosmetic companies in the world – now distributing in over 120 territories worldwide with a brand portfolio spanning Elixir, Laura Mercier, bareMinerals, Ipsa and several others. 

In February 2021, the company selected Accenture for digital transformation support. Thispartnership that has now cemented itself as a joint venture – Shiseido Interactive Beauty – majority owned by Shiseido and due to begin operations by July. 

Cosmetic giant Shiseido teams up with Accenture for technology

The goal, according to Shiseido president & CEO Masahiko Uotani is to “create new beauty experiences that customers have never experienced before and transform the beauty industry.” Far-reaching changes are on the cards, starting with a migration of Shiseido’s entire IT infrastructure to the cloud – a means to cutting costs and boosting efficiency and capacity. 

The joint venture plans to develop data-driven digital marketing strategies that use browsing and purchasing patterns – across online and brick & mortar channels – to deliver a more personalised experience for customers. This is in addition to virtual skin and make-up consultations using augmented reality and other advanced tech, and feedback systems for new business lines. 

Recovery and purpose

The transformation aligns with WIN 2023 and Beyond – a Shiseido corporate vision published in February this year, which laid a roadmap to achieve full recovery from the pandemic-induced disruptions to supply chains and consumer behaviour over the next two years. 

2021 is a year of “groundwork” according to the February corporate statement – “focusing on structural reforms centered on reviewing our business portfolio and strengthening our financial base, while responding to and preparing for current and post-Covid-19 markets.”Shiseido Interactive Beauty is touted as a means to both ends: business stability and future-readiness. 

“I believe that working with Accenture, a company with a proven track record in delivering global digital services and, above all, one that shares our corporate philosophy and values, will create a great opportunity for Shiseido to make a leap forward,” noted Uotani.

Accenture CEO Julie Sweet noted that her firm would also help train Shiseido employees in advanced digital skills, thereby “enhancing inclusion and diversity and putting sustainability at the heart of its products and operations — transforming to create value for all.”

“Our partnership is based on our shared values, focusing not only on creating incredible experiences for Shiseido’s consumers and more value for its business and retail partners, but also investing in Shiseido’s employees.” 

The Shiseido joint venture is Accenture’s second in Japan in 2021 alone: the global professional services major announced a joint undertaking with Tokyo-based chemicals giant Sumitomo in April – also aimed at back-end digitalisation and exploring new tech-driven revenue channels.