Beauty: Augmented Reality (AR) alone doesn't convert - So what does?

The topic is controversial for sure but I wanted to share some of our experiences to highlight some critical aspects that we see in the future of beauty online sales. 

What we've learned through our 30+ retailers and brands we are working with is that just offering AR is a great innovation but often just a marketing gimmick for millennials to play around. Having AR presented alone doesn't convert well. So what more is needed?

When combining actual selfie skin analysis + individual preferences + educational content to provide limited set of personalized product recommendations - then the AR experience to virtually try on the 10 products instead of 100 is the sherry on the top to convert the beauty shopper online.

The key problem in beauty

Beauty sales moving online is a fact. What remains a challenge is the personalization online. The beauty consumer still is the most challenging customer for retailers and brands to offer similar level personalization as you can do in-store.

But on the other hand, for a consumer the challenge is keeping up with all of the new innovative skincare and makeup products and discovering the matching products among the thousands of brands and tens of thousands of product options out there.

Brands and retailers are heavily relying and investing on three different completely separate elements online:

  1. Content
  2. Search / Browsing / Discovery of products
  3. Augmented Reality (AR)

What we've learned is that you need to combine these elements to a seamless customer experience in order to take personalization to the next level.

How to combine online personalization, education and AR in skincare?

When it comes to skincare the technology offers opportunities to analyse consumer skin through selfie. Different types of facial lines, wrinkles, eyebags, redness, pigmentation are concerns that can be analyzed through selfies taken through mobile or desktop. 

Allowing customer to track the development of their skin by combining selfie skin analysis, conversational elements and selections to create a skin profile offers enormous opportunities for brands and retailers to create retention and target educational content and products that match 100% the individual customer.

Further it's simple and easy to include environmental factors such as forecast for uv, humidity and pollution to even more personalize the skincare routine for the consumer. The sherry on the top is presenting AR experience to see how a product can help to deal with redness for example.

How about makeup then?

In makeup analysing additional things such as customer facial shape, skin undertone and eye colour are factors that can be analysed through selfies which allows brands and retailers to educate the customer how certain products can hide or emphasise areas on the face, what colours are the best match for certain skintones & eye color etc. Combining skin analysis and educational elements make it easy for the consumer to circle though the wide range of options when just a limited set of individual recommendations are provided by a retailer or brands.

AR plays of course a bigger role in makeup than skincare and what we see is that when combining the three main elements Selfie Analysis + Education + AR the results are in a whole new level compared to stand-alone AR.

What's your experience?

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