The beauty space remains one where consumers place high value on being able to interact with, assess, and test products. Due to the largely individual nature of the category, consumers had previously remained driven to visit physical locations to ensure the perfect product fit. However, be it the global events of 2020 or personal shifts in priorities, brands understand that such visits in-store are not always a possibility for today’s consumer. Fortunately, technological advancements are enabling both legacy beauty brands and new DTC startups to provide consumers with the high-engagement experiences they expect when shopping for personal products, now online and through their devices.
From implementing augmented reality tools into their apps, to showing up organically on fast-growing platforms, companies can make the virtual beauty customer experience not only seamless, but engaging. Brands can provide notable value by offering not only digital assistance, but also educational opportunities that empower customers in their at-home beauty routines. This research paper explores the ways beauty brands and retailers are leveraging digital and virtual tools to support consumers in trial, testing, learning, and purchasing from home. Learn how technology-backed solutions and authentic means of online communications allow beauty brands to convert engagement into sales, and how using burgeoning technologies enables brands to engrain personalization, customization, and individual attention throughout the consumer path to purchase.
Published February 2021
Using AR platforms to create 3D simulations that bring products to life and allow customers to virtually try before purchasing.Visual Search
Algorithmic engines translate real-world browsing behaviors into digital retail by allowing customers to discover new or related products using image-based search and analysis—curating recommendations based on aesthetic and similarity. This includes virtual store experiences that allow consumers to use mobile or otherwise digital tools to unlock content and interactive effects.Virtual Consults
Brands and retailers are using virtual platforms to streamline conversation between consumers and experts, providing analyses and solutions tailored to each customer for optimal product results. This includes leveraging AI-supported conversational assistants that use natural language processing to help shoppers effortlessly navigate questions.
Google has partnered with ModiFace and the Perfect Corp to launch a tool on the Google app that provides consumers with the much desired opportunity for virtual trial of beauty products. Upon searching the Google app, users have the option to test the shades of L'Oréal, MAC, Black Opal, and Charlotte Tilbury (and more) products against their personal skin tones, and on their faces through their front-facing cameras.Spotify listeners can now request Estée Lauder product samples through Google Home
Estée Lauder is now offering Spotify listeners the opportunity to request samples of its Advanced Night Repair (ANR) serum verbally through Google Home smart speakers. This voice-ordering promotion both offers consumers an easy, commitment-free way to try the product and gives Estée Lauder valuable data about consumer interest, all from a safe social distance. The sample giveaway ties into the Estée Lauder/Spotify ANR microsite, where consumers can hear a "chill tracks" playlist generated to match the listener's taste through the streaming service's algorithm.E.L.F. launches TikTok competition and reality show: Eyes.Lips.Famous.
Cosmetics brand E.L.F. has launched a TikTok competition and subsequent reality show they’ve deemed “Eyes.Lips.Famous.” The brand is asking participants to demonstrate their makeup skills, admiration of the brand, and individual style, as well as tag @elfyeah and #Eyes.Lips.Famous. Selected micro-influencers will join the expert judges in a series of workshops on beauty tricks and skill-honing.NYX taps into Snapchat and Triller to offer virtual shopping experiences
To promote their most recent product line’s drop, beauty brand NYX is tapping into the power of augmented reality trials to allow consumers a personal shopping experience from the safety of their homes. Through an AR Snapchat lens and a “virtual shopping experience” accessible through both short-form content app, Triller, and Snapchat, users can try on the brands makeup and peruse a virtual store (respectively).