The pace of innovation in beauty tech is accelerating. The opportunities in the future for technology in beauty are abundant. From virtual try on, digital catalogs for social selling, 3D printed make up tools, customized cosmetic and skin care product requests in one click to voice based technology are all in the pipeline across beauty startups and large organizations.
The beauty marketplace is dynamic and overwhelming. Companies today recognize that people’s relationship with the traditional salons may have fundamentally changed post the pandemic.
Today, the use of technology for trying, discovering and personalizing products and routines - is disrupting in-person beauty consultations, and product testing for customers. AR/ VR is the next evolution in product try on.
In a multi-brand environment, design and technology should seamlessly work to help customers find solutions that work for them. For example; finding the perfect foundation shade, out of 9,000 shades in less than a minute or introduction of a smart skin advisor with recommended products just for them. Virtual Try On technology powered by AR/ VR can also directly attribute customer sales by the users who have used the technology to try beauty products. For the customer for example, it means that they can notice improvements in their skin after using products that were recommended by the tool. AR/ VR however are not meant to 100 percent replace the in-store experience which is important for things like texture, exact lip colors etc. However, it aims to provide the customer the next best alternative during times like the pandemic and other instances when going to the store is impractical; for the vast majority of customers, it enables them to try on beauty products virtually.
In addition, e-commerce platforms and well-designed mobile apps are specifically assembled today to serve personalized product recommendations, and learn each user’s profile as they use the technology.
Technology in beauty today can help hyper personalize the shopping experience to each individual, the more they use it. Similarly, the Virtual Pro experience can be fully integrated in to channels (web and mobile) where product recommendations are delivered in the same flow and users are able to quickly see the impact and receive customized product recommendations. These technological investments in the ML powered AR/VR and technology stacks would enable brands to provide an integrated customer experience. Brands and platforms in India today are adapting to the shift in customer needs and introducing new technologies, user friendly experiences, innovative try on tools, virtual consultations allowing higher engagement with the customer.
In an omnichannel business, it is also critical to strengthen and enrich the customer’s digital journey that matches the experience in retail stores. For example, Boddess Beauty among many other prestige brands launched a Personal Virtual Consultation advisor service with Head skin care and make up artists to get recommendations on products and application techniques. The online consultations have provided an alternative to retail in store consultations especially when we see customers exploring luxury and premium brands and product ranges.
Retail is no longer just about the product you open at home; it starts the minute customers hear about the brand and peaks during the journey of the purchase – an end-to-end experience for our customers.
There is a real opportunity in how we think about beauty retail to better personalize through technology and data.