Recently put up for sale by parent company L’Oreal, The Body Shop has announced a £10 million investment into digital over the next three years.

Having already launched the platform in 11 countries including the UK, USA, Brazil, and Indonesia, the initiative is set to expand to another 20 markets by the end of the year.

The aim of the project is to enhance the retail experience of the platform including new functionalities such as a live appointment booking service for in-store consultations, a personalized skin diagnostic tool, as well act as a hub for The Body Shop’s unique content.

Given that the sale and bidding process for The Body Shop is well and truly underway, with offers being made by private equity firms as well as Brazilian natural personal care brand Natura Cosmeticos according to Bloomberg, it seems interesting that in the eleventh hour L’Oreal is now taking action.

A key benefit of L’Oreal ploughing such significant investment into The Body Shop seeks to reassure bidders that the decision to sell was made due to incompatibility of The Body Shop in L’Oreal’s brand portfolio rather than poor sales or low commercial opportunity – a viable concern for bidders with such a high profile company offloading one of its assets

In turn, by setting the wheels in motion for improving this online and digital offering, L’Oreal has made clear to bidders where the strategic focus of the business should lie and gives The Body Shop a new (and clearly outlined) pathway to follow. This will appeal to the new owners who simply have to follow the plan through rather than initiate it from scratch.

Online platforms are now an essential touchpoint for beauty and personal care brands, evident in that according to GlobalData’s consumer research, 36% of consumer globally say that they buy beauty and grooming products online direct from the brand. Potential for growth is high with a further third saying that they would consider using this channel in future.

Therefore optimizing its digital presence will be a key factor in breathing new life into The Body Shop’s offering and will play an essential role in better embedding the brand among its target audience.