AR: The Winning Strategy For Beauty Industry
If you are in the beauty industry and have not looked at innovative technologies to respond to your customers needs and behaviour, you are getting behind. COVID-19 has tremendously impacted how beauty brands do business. Technology ensures that brands deliver extraordinary experiences and value to each customer. But the dilemma is how will an industry that depends highly on personal product interactions create a connection with consumers, who are worried about safety and overwhelmed with online choices! Another question is,
Are people likely to get any use out of makeup products in the current situation?
Today, people are working from home and wearing safety masks in public, so it is reasonable to assume that they are using less makeup, and therefore buying fewer makeup products. Beauty sales at retailers are down. But, there are some beauty and makeup products that are quite in-demand online. Alibaba has reported a 150 per cent increase in month-over-month sales of eye cosmetics. The pandemic might have put to rest the lipstick index, but people are eager to purchase affordable indulgences that add a little extra to their at-home life. A report from McKinsey & Company confirms that self-care and pampering trends are on the rise such as skin, nails and hair care. We all relish small luxuries that make us look and feel good, but most importantly are accessible from home.
Pre-Covid shoppers would experiment with products, try it on themselves, and seek expert advice from in-store staff to clinch their selections. Post-Covid, Indian consumers do not only research online but consider it to be the purchase platform. Brands thinking ahead need to consider the behaviour shift in the consumers and capitalize on what technology can deliver.
The Future of Beauty is Tech
Even before the pandemic, the beauty industry had been witnessing an online shift. Over the years, more and more consumers have been using the online medium to narrow brands and products, eventually purchasing either online or in-store. With YouTube, Instagram and other social platforms emerging as beauty advisors, consumers are learning about the latest trends and products now more than ever.Pre-Covid shoppers would experiment with products, try it on themselves, and seek expert advice from in-store staff to clinch their selections. Post-Covid, Indian consumers do not only research online but consider it to be the purchase platform. Brands thinking ahead need to consider the behaviour shift in the consumers and capitalize on what technology can deliver.
Savvy Online Habits
The Connected Beauty Consumer Report states that 66% of consumers are not loyal to just one brand. And even for repeat purchases consumers go through all sections of the customer journey! Online shoppers are browsing for the best— products, prices, information, and more! It is a battle to keep audiences interested in your brand. But technology essentially unites the consumer journey of product discovery, research, application, and purchase together in one platform.
In-Store, Mobile, or Desktop
Shoppers navigate multiple platforms and unique touchpoints before they make the purchase. A shopper may discover a product on social media, navigate to the website or app for product information, and finally decide to buy from the store. Customers are intent on a seamless experience between platforms and devices. AR powers integrated product experiences in-store and on digital devices, enabling purchase decisions at every touchpoint.
Meditate on the ‘ME’
Makeup is highly personal. It is no surprise that shoppers look up to social media influencers with similar features and tone to discover relevant recommendations. AR technology goes beyond product displays, to create a real opportunity for customers to interact with products and focus on their unique fit. Utilizing innovations to empower customers delivers an exceptional brand commitment, develops trust and loyalty, and keeps them interested.
Beauty customers are highly engaged with the content online. They want information about the brand, its commitment, the products, customer reviews, and more. It is normal to expect brands to provide detailed product descriptions, videos and more on their platform. But it is difficult to keep them engaged without recommendations for precise products that meet their unique, individual needs. Technology such as AI and AR adds value to the customer journey with a real, live try-on that solves customer pain points of choosing the right product for their needs. To brands, this presents an opening to engage directly with the consumer, and understand their preferences while delivering a great brand experience.
Decisive Around The Clock
Consumers today are shopping to survive, as well as to unwind. Early morning, lunch, or at bedtime, no matter the time of day (or night), people are buying online. They purchase when essential, or in the spur-of-the-moment. To fit the needs of 24/7 audience, its helpful to provide online assistance round the clock, but an enduring strategy is to facilitate a swift and effortless path-to-purchase. AR eases purchase decisions to conveniently shop and checkout without any assistance.
How to Shift Gears to the Future?
"The beauty industry has always been resilient, but the beauty brands leveraging technology are rewriting the beauty and cosmetic playbook"
To build a connection with the surging numbers of online shoppers, brands require more than just a digital marketing strategy for their brand websites, marketplaces, and social media to capture interest and attention. The next phase of growth requires a change that goes beyond the usual strategies. Brands have to not only enable endless aisle of products but also allow personalized product experiences at all touchpoints to reduce friction and aid shoppers in their purchase journey.
Turn Browsers into Buyers
Ensure that those looking at your website or mobile app dive deep into your makeup products. Customers are looking for products that suit them, even when they are absorbing information passively. The key to conversions are products and their impressions. Virtual try-on helps the audience envision your products on themselves. It helps convert the customer traffic that comes in from marketing, promotions and more. Give people a chance to try different products at leisure, and buy what suits them right on your platform.
Exclusive Store Experiences
Stores are the arena of beauty shopping. Welcome back customers into your retail outlet by leveraging AI to power safe, contactless product interactions. AR-powered Smart Mirror enables visitors to browse through products, try them on, experiment and advance to purchase them. Smart Mirror engages visitors safely and presents the full range of products for virtual testing.
Own Brand Experience
Beauty customers are quite selective, and why not? After all, what we put on our skin affects our sense of being. Technology is a great enabler, but it is the brands who create a real impact by seizing the opportunity to solve customer challenges. To succeed, invest in technology that matches your brand vision and identity and gives you the flexibility to own the AR experience.
The future is here—Are you ready?
As the beauty industry looks at the future, it will need to rewrite strategies to adapt and respond to consumer needs. One thing is clear consumers desire ease and convenience, and prioritize safety. AR augments these advantages to your brand strategy:
- Empowers customer preferences to find precise products
- Strengthens product research with virtual product testing on all storefronts
- Aids in product discovery and engagement with infinite product aisles and virtual try-on for each of them
- Shrinks cart abandonment by reducing product complexity and easing purchase decisions
- Unites point-of-discovery with the point-of-sale, eliminating distractions from the brand’s platform
- Reduces dissatisfied buyers and returns with accurate product trials
- Ensures safe and touchless product interactions
GlamAR is powered by Artificial Intelligence and helps brands transform customer experiences. GlamAR SDK integrates with the brand website or mobile application to enable a seamless try-on of products.