How Digital Solutions are Transforming Beauty Commerce

March 14, 2018

The world of beauty commerce is embracing digital solutions at a record pace. Digital solutions enabling beauty shoppers to interact, engage and connect with their favourite beauty brands and retailers are filling the floor space of physical stores and populating the corners of e-commerce sites. The beauty technology space has received some significant media coverage after having gone virtually unnoticed for many years. To some, such a seemingly rapid pace of digital transformation may seem like a surprise, but to those versed in the world of beauty commerce, this transformation has been long in the making.

The act of evaluating, selecting and buying beauty products is perhaps the most personal of any retail vertical. As such, the recent wave of digital tools and services represents nothing more than the realization from leading beauty brands and retailers that the in-store beauty consultant, until today the key actor in providing a personalized beauty-experience, is no longer efficient. Although highly valued, the in-store beauty consultant cannot serve all categories of beauty-shoppers, thus leaving those unwilling or unable to interact with the in-store beauty consultant, thoroughly in the cold.

Digital solutions for beauty shoppers change all that. These solutions are transforming the customer experience for beauty shoppers through offering delightful product discovery, surprising inspiration, valuable advice and a throughout personal experience that has the power not only to inform, educate and inspire, but transform the perception of a brand or beauty retailer in the minds of the consumer. Broadly speaking, these digital solutions available for beauty retailers and brands can be categorized into fulfilling three key purposes:

Inspiration

Digital solutions offering inspiration to the shopper provide a customer experience, often using augmented reality (AR), which stretches the imagination of the shopper, provides them with an adventure and enables the shopper to virtually try on beauty products. These solutions can be fundamental in creating an impression of the beauty retailer or brand as a digital-first, innovative and inspirational source of beauty products.

Product Discovery

Digital solutions focused on product discovery are in essence re-creating the consumers trusted advisor, the in-store beauty consultant, in a digital form. These solutions remove uncertainty, decrease shopper frustration and increase trust between the beauty brand or retailer and the consumer. They are a major influence in positioning the beauty brand or retailer as a trusted partner, advocate and dedicated supporter of the consumers' beauty journey, saving time and money that the consumer would otherwise spend on products not suitable for them as an individual.

Personal Advice

Digital solutions focused on providing personalized beauty and skincare advice are your digital dermatologist. Often backed by science and comparable to many physical solutions such as the VISIA Complexion Analysis -system, these digital solutions position the beauty brand or retailer as a central, knowledgeable authority in all matters beauty and can promote the image of the beauty brand or retailer as a professional, highly credible authority.

Naturally, when considering the focus of the digital solutions you're looking to employ for your beauty brand or retail store, the image you wish to portray to your shoppers, the needs of your customer base as well as the hard data available about the tangible business results received through these various types of digital solutions weigh in the balance. One thing remains for certain. Not offering digital solutions to your beauty customers will certainly leave you and your brand at the whim of fickle consumer tastes and dwindling attention spans.