Future of Beauty: Finding Your Brand's Place in the Digital-First World
Gone are the days when we were satisfied with generic products marketed to us by movie stars of unattainable beauty standards. Folks demand much more. Beauty brands around the world are equipping themselves with the technological tools necessary to meet those ever-growing demands and provide true value to their customers.
Thanks to the ubiquity of personal smart devices, we are now able to use artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-powered solutions to create truly immersive, personalized shopping journeys. Within a couple of seconds it is possible to analyze a customer’s skin needs, and deliver a skincare routine with product recommendations tailored specifically to that person’s skin concerns - targeting issues such as spots, wrinkles, moisture deficiency, redness, oiliness, acne, and more. The technology is then able to predict the effectiveness of the skincare routine and present the user with a realistic emulation of the results of the treatment program. This hyper-realistic way of visualizing the entire shopping journey and skincare experience empowers confidence in the brand and products, increasing sales, and building incredibly strong brand loyalty, as customers feel understood and get a tangible value out of the experience.
Offering online shoppers one of a kind digital experience with personalized product recommendations not only benefits consumers, but it also translates into tangible business growth for all brands that implement the technology. Estée Lauder, one of the world’s most famous, innovative, and sophisticated, high-performance skincare and makeup brands, reported a 250 percent increase in conversion rate with Makeup Virtual Try-On. The success with this technology prompted the brand to roll out an expanded range of digital solutions such as in-store beauty mirrors, and AI-powered foundation shade finder technology to expand on high-touch and high-service experiences for their customers.
Some brands see even more dramatic results. Japanese makeup brand KATE, has been actively utilizing virtual makeup in their sales and marketing activities since 2019. After introducing virtual makeup, the brand reported a 430 percent increase in site dwell time. Moreover, following the launch of a new lipstick in 2021, the brand saw over 430,000 virtual try-ons in one month alone. To me, this demonstrates that an enriched brand website experience is able to generate incredible levels of traffic and leads to a more interactive and satisfying consumer journey.
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, it is no surprise that beauty brands are turning to tech to help them stay ahead of the curve. Online sales have been growing exponentially across the globe, and to stay relevant, it is imperative for beauty brands to recreate brick-and-mortar shopping experiences online. I believe the most important aspect of this is being able to try products before making a purchase. By implementing beauty tech, brands are able to offer their customers a more personalized experience and tap into new markets. AI can be used to create custom-made products and to recommend the perfect shade of makeup for each customer. AR allows customers to virtually try on products before they buy them, dramatically slashing return rates, and increasing sales. All of these incredible features help brands to build relationships with their consumers, cementing brand loyalty and increasing retention.
The implementation of beauty tech further provides brands with valuable data that can be used to improve their products and marketing strategies. By understanding customer preferences and behaviors, brands can create more targeted and effective offerings. In addition, these technologies can also help brands to better understand the competition and develop new ways to stand out in the market. By tracking customer behavior and preferences within these digital experiences, brands can better understand customer needs and desires, and are therefore able to tailor their products and services. As the beauty industry continues to evolve, I expect to see beauty tech become an increasingly important tool for brands looking to fine-tune their product range, customer experience, and sales and marketing activities.
A broad array of tools and solutions are now available. Solutions that are capable of creating incredible omnichannel shopping experiences across all touchpoints, be it a browser-based experience, an app-based experience, as well as in-person experience at a physical store, where beauty shoppers can engage with technology via beauty mirrors. Many of the world’s largest beauty brands have already jumped onboard, but small and medium businesses can also reap the benefits of technology-enhanced solutions, and cement their place in the future of beauty by interweaving every aspect of their relationship with their consumers through innovative technologies.
About the author
Lisa Lee, Vice President and Head of Business Development at Perfect Corp., leads a team responsible for multiple functions, including Business Development, BU Management, and Business Analytics. She is passionate about helping beauty and fashion brands build exciting shopping journeys with the power of the latest AI and AR technologies.