In Asia where the culture is far more collective and conservative in many aspects, you’d think that same would apply to adapting technologies. Right? Think again. It’s quite the opposite.
When I think about it though it seems to me that many Asian countries have traditionally been culturally on the other end of the spectrum compared to Europe and North America in dimensions such as power distance, masculinity and individualism for instance (source).
Thus, when it comes to beauty, retail, and technology, the Asian countries seem to be on the other end of the spectrum with the West. Not conservative, and definitely leaning towards a less collective and more individualized service. What I mean with it is that the Asian countries at least seem to be adopting new retail technologies faster than anything I’ve seen before.
To be seen is, whether the only real competitor on this front, North America, will be able to adapt these technologies faster into the mainstream than Asia.
The APAC countries are emphasizing the personalization journey on their marketing strategies on eCommerce platforms to build customer loyalty. The following numbers present the percentage of APAC eCommerce experts who feel this is either essential or very important for building customer loyalty. It is clear that they find personalization as their biggest single aspect to achieve that with nearly 58% of respondents finding this as essential or very important.
(Numbers are sourced from retailasia.com research on how APAC eCommerce experts expect to build customer loyalty through marketing.)
With K-Beauty (Korean beauty) and now J-beauty (Japanese beauty) competing for most online buss, the urge to stay on top of the game is real. Everyone wants to personalize their customer journey across all digital channels. It’s a game to see who does it best now. Not who implements it first like it could be in other parts of the world.
We can already see many try-on apps being implemented in-stores, eCommerce sites, and apps, even on airports! There is much happening in a very short time span.
What I am concerned about however is how much these try-on apps actually convert? Or are they supposed to be solely a marketing gimmick with no immediate commercial value?
What if you want both? A marketing gimmick and a customer loyalty tool for building retention and conversion. You know, a win-win between you and your customers!
What I find is, that part of building customer loyalty is also having a conversation with the customer. It’s about knowing their concerns and preferences. It’s about educating them about their skin type or matching colors and recommending the best products, individually. Even from a large supply. Without forgetting external factors such as UV and pollution.
It’s exciting to see how the technology shapes the beauty market and I am really looking forward to seeing how these brands and retailers decide to take steps towards the digital personalization process in Asia and all other continents.