Leadership & Digital Customer Experiences in the Beauty Sector


April 3rd, 2024. We had the pleasure to interview the retail & e-commerce star; Lina Hasic. Lina has an impressive background coming previously from a role at Kronans Apotek as the E-Commerce Director, now working as Head of E-commerce & Growth Marketing at the growing retail business parfym.se. Parfym has one million customers and is today one of Europe’s largest beauty destinations.

The first question we wanted to ask Lina was a bit of a personal question, considering her well-traveled background and the current industry she’s working in.

Considering the cultural mix in your family from Sweden and Bosnia, if you had to create a perfume that captured the essence of your life's journey – what would it smell like?

- Lina responded; For me, a perfume scent is a moment and memories, it’s two different experiences. I would make a perfume that comprises the ocean and the sunsets. When I travel with my husband to Bosnia where he comes from, we go together to meet his family in Bosnia and we also visit the coast in Croatia. I would also choose spices from Macau, thinking about when I was eating street food there. And then I would bring a bit of cut grass in Sweden, in the summer house, that would be the mix of the perfume.

Lovely. The next question comes from an entrepreneurial standpoint.
How do you ensure that your team stays aligned with customers' thinking, and the company's ‘why’?

“I think it's always easy to say that we have the customer at heart – but it's very difficult to execute on and live it truly.”


- So what I try to do when I'm joining a new team, or with the current team that I'm working with, is that when we discuss things I always try to remind people and say okay, so what about the customer? Who are you aiming to reach, and what do you think will be the response from the customer?

- I always try to remember to ask those questions, what do we actually do to help their needs or serve their needs? And then, of course, we talk about how we stay aligned with the company's purpose and direction which is also important. It shouldn't necessarily go in different directions, it should go in the same way.

If you want to be a ‘tech-savvy organization’ that puts out new tech tools all the time, I think you should ask these questions; what about the customer, what kind of tools do we need, and what direction should we go?”

- I think that it’s important to talk about creating the culture of where we are going, and also how we make sure it fits with the customer's needs.”

How do you bring the team together? Let's say you have two people coming from different backgrounds. How do you bring the team together to make the strategy work?

- I always try to see the individual and also accept that we are different and it's good to be different. So I encourage discussions where we don't necessarily go in the typical Swedish way of consensus that everyone should agree. We need to come to a conclusion and agree on the action. 

- I try to kind of break through the tensions that could occur when you discuss and have different perspectives. And I want them to know it's okay to think differently. It's good that we think differently, and I appreciate your opinion, and I can see your point of view. Then I try to encourage people to bring their differences and their different backgrounds to the table, to make better and smarter decisions. 

- I think it's quite easy to say but you need to practice this a lot and you need to have it on your agenda all the time. In almost every forum or meeting you're in, if someone is really quiet or you know that someone has this really cool background or good experience – I always try to encourage them and give them the space to talk and enable them to grow in that role.

What are the key challenges that e-commerce platforms are currently facing regarding customer experience?

- I think it's still the question of how we inspire, engage and also excite the customer in the e-commerce world. If you compare it to the physical world where you can greet the customer when they walk in the door, you can see if they're hesitant, standing there looking at products and you can see if they have an exit intent, or if it's a good way to approach them or if they want to be left alone.

- We don't have that opportunity online. So I think that's still one of the major challenges. How do you make sure you keep the customer interested, that you are top of their mind, and that people want to interact with you? You don't want to push with too many communications or too many offers. But I would also say we talk a lot about data and take pride in for example being data-driven and knowing the customers every step.

“We should remember that the data we have is still less than the data we don't have, which means there’s always more data to collect.”


According to you, what measures have proven to be most effective in overcoming these challenges?

- In terms of KPIs in that sense, I think we perform when we measure our customers in terms of churn. We see our bounce rate from each and every step on the site. I think that was a very efficient measure for us to come to the conclusion of, okay, we need to do a bit of a makeover here.

 “I think the challenge for E-commerce right now is to understand how we actually execute on the data and the insights.”

- We need to look at our user experience on-site and say okay, this is where we lose a lot of customers, and look at what it is in the behaviour. We're looking at bounce rate blocking the conversion, of course, but also looking at time spent on site engagement. We also look at where the customers click, etc. Then, that is the kind of hardcore data that you see on the behaviour, and then we connect it to the NPS survey.


“We want to know what the customers say about us when they are happy, but most importantly, we want to know what they say when they're not happy”


We all know that the direction of E-commerce is turning more towards AI and personalization. So what is your prediction for E-commerce, especially concerning AI and personalization?

- I think Sweden is not as developed as other markets, and especially if you look at Asia and in terms of AI tools, or usage of AI in E-commerce. But we have seen a lot of tools being rolled out now in the last couple of months, and I think there are great tools, but they're still very much scraping on the surface of what we could do. 

“I think the prediction here is that we will see a lot more guides and recommendations based on AI that could improve the experience.”

- One example is; how can I choose the right perfume to wear for my trip – what should I bring with me, or what is the good cream to wear for my face type or my skin type, etc.

- I think there are tools there already, but I think we will see a lot more in that space or recommendations and guides on a deeper level and deeper way of communicating with the customer to improve the experience. I think it's a mix and also through different tools, I would say both written but also video and other interactive tools. 

Are you working on a strategy that includes customer experience using AI and personalization – like we discuss now?

- Yeah, I think this is a super interesting topic because of course we want to step by step change our appearance and how we meet our customers. So talking about AI we have just rolled out our new design and refreshed logo and we also updated with a lot of features on site. 

- Basically, a completely new user experience journey for the customer. This was our first step just to create a base for us to act from and on that. We are of course as many others looking into AI and the opportunity to actually reach just a deeper level of recommendations. 

- We have a fantastic team that we're working with and we want to do more social content creation. We have actually put a lot of effort into starting up with Tik-Tok account and doing a lot of organic content at the moment. But we’re also interviewing people out on the streets talking about both our brand but also experiences and moments with people connected to fragrance. So we're doing bits and pieces and of course, there's a strategy, but we are working through different channels and trying to see how we can find our perfect mix.

Given your insights into new tech like AR and beauty tech, where do you see these fitting into the eCommerce landscape?

“I think the difficult or tricky part is to understand which tool is the right one for us, and where and how we should apply it to our customer journey.”


- I think a lot of tools that we are looking at are virtual. So it's about how to apply the makeup look, which foundation should I wear for my skin tone, or shop the look, etc. So there's a lot of those types of tools that we are looking into and I think that the industry in general is also looking into applying it. I think with that said a lot of tools in connection with for example video material or other types of these functions that we might already have, would make a good fit for the future and to improve the customer experience. 

Is there a rise of Live Shopping in Sweden and how do you envision this in the next few years?

- I think this is a difficult question because if you ask some companies or maybe in other industries, they will say yeah, it's super big and rising. And if you talk to other industries or companies that will say no, it's not happening at the moment. 

- Then obviously the truth is somewhere in between. I think Sweden somehow is a bit underdeveloped in this space, and I think it has to do a little bit with what kind of customer needs we try to serve and how relevant is our product.

- To do a Live Shopping event, I think one of the barriers is also being; for example at our company as a perfume. We are quite a small team and if you want to do a push for live shopping you need to of course plan it carefully. You need to put resources to fund it. And you can't just do it as a one-hit wonder you need to have some kind of strategy and momentum and keep on doing it. I think that might be a barrier to why it hasn't bloomed or blossomed yet, but on the more positive side, I think as I mentioned just before with the connection of video, AR and other types of experiences that you can create. 

- I think Live Shopping has a future of becoming bigger. And I would also then look extra into Tik-Tok depending of course on which target group you want to reach, and where they hang out. I think that might be your channel to start trying. 

What are the potential benefits and limitations that you see in retail?

- This is of course super interesting. Because as you say, we know that people are more interested in video than just plain text or one-way communication in that sense. So there's obviously a lot of potential looking at the positive side. There are areas of your business as an E-commerce retailer where you can use it a lot like FAQs, if there may be more instructions that you have to enhance or make more interesting to listen into or to capture the content from a consumer perspective. 

- I think the limitations on the other side as we discussed in the beauty industry, for example, are very important with UGC, it's important as a real authentic person talking about a product. I think that's where you really need to be cautious so that it doesn't become fake or un-genuine perceived. So I think that's where you need to draw the line for your own business in terms of where I use video bots or where do not.

- Another interesting thought could be to look at for example if you have inspirational sites with blogs and other things, how can you make that in terms of video bots to kind of enhance the experience and the content because it's fact-based, but it's then presented in a more interesting way.

With that being said, we have one last question for you. If you could solve one really big problem in your industry, what problem would you like to solve?

- I think there are two issues and they're very different in that respect. But looking at the beauty industry, I think a business challenge is of course that we have so many unique products and we have so many different customer needs. So if I could have a feature that would give me the opportunity when a customer gives me some kind of indication that I'm looking for skin care and this is what I want. I want to collect all the data, and all the insights and give a perfect recommendation, help and follow the customer through the journey. I think that would be magical if we could improve on that. 

- Then there's of course a more even serious note to my industry when it comes to working in beauty, the self-perception and the self-esteem of specifically young girls. I think if I could have a magic tool to help this generation, the younger ones especially younger girls growing up to feel that they are good enough. Beauty should be to play around with and do not have anything to do with your self-esteem.

Press contact giosg
Sofia Correnti, PR & Communications Manager
sofia.correnti@giosgcom / +4670 845 23 09

Press contact parfym.se 
Lina Hasic, Head of E-Commerce & Growth Marketing

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