We unpack why brands and retailers like JCPenney, Bulldog Skincare For Men, Duolab, BABOR, Shiseido, Walmart, CVS, and No7 Beauty Company, succeed in connecting with shoppers on a deeper and more personalized level.
How can brands and retailers get beauty personalization right? The answer is a strong utilization of data and a truly integrated online and in-store experience. Indeed, data-driven personalization can create a symbolic brand-consumer relationship. As part of The Drum’s Data and Privacy Deep Dive, Revieve’s CMO Juliana Pereira shares her perspective on why effective personalization is the key to incentivizing consumers to share their data with brands.
It is critically important for brands and retailers to develop more value-driven personalization that encourages true multichannel consumer engagement and supports zero- and first-party data collection to augment personalized experiences and commerce in the future.
According to a study commissioned by Coresight Research and Sailthru as part of the 2022 Retail Personalization Index, 71% of consumers will shop more often with brands or retailers that personalize their communications. While the vast majority of retailers think they excel in personalization in marketing, only 34% of consumers agree.
Beauty brands and retailers that get personalization right, like JCPenney, Bulldog Skincare For Men, Duolab, BABOR, Shiseido, Walmart, CVS, and No7 Beauty Company, prove that this doesn’t have to be so. We unpack why these brands succeed in connecting with shoppers on a deeper and more personalized level:
JCPenney tops our list of the most successful retailers that do personalization best. The leading department store, in late 2020, announced its plans to develop its in-store and online beauty concept, focused on inclusivity and elevating diverse founders and brands, right after Sephora ditched its store-within-a-store partnership with JCPenney for Kohls. By putting customer experience as its top priority across every channel, JCPenney learns customers' unique interests and engagement patterns to make interactions as relevant as possible.
For instance, the company has also improved its technology and online experience to draw more online sales. As a result, a quarter of JCPenney's sales are online, trailing rivals. "You will see us lean in heavily and invest in the areas that matter, digital supply chain, and technology. There is a significant amount of investment we have to make to build that digital experience for the customer," said Marc Rosen, Chief Executive Officer at JCPenney, adding that management and ownership are "aligned" on making it happen.
This further strengthens their newly launched concept, "JCPenney Beauty," as it brings a personal touch to customers when buying beauty products online. Additionally, for its newly launched JCPenney Beauty experience, the retailer partnered with Revieve to deploy a category-specific personalized digital experience in the form of a virtual makeup try-on and online skincare advisor, which was crucial to their strategy for customer acquisition and retention.
"With the AR-powered makeup try-on powered by Revieve, we can enable our customers to try endless makeup products and find their favorite beauty product, while with Revieve's AI Skincare Advisor, we can streamline the customer experience from online to offline," said Destiny Villarreal, DMM Beauty at JCPenney.
2. Bulldog Skincare
The vast majority of brands keep forgetting that consumers can quickly feel overwhelmed and confused about finding the right products. This is where brands like Bulldog Skincare are doing a fantastic job educating men along their skincare journey.
In partnership with Revieve, Bulldog Skincare for Men jumped into personalization to help men better care for their skin. Alongside Revieve, they created an experience where men take an online selfie to receive a virtual analysis and product recommendations for their specific issues.
“We felt there was a really great educational opportunity for Bulldog to take the lead in the space and educate men about skincare, the benefits of skincare, and what products are for them,” said Lisa Gustafson, the brand manager at Bulldog Skincare for Men, in the interview for Glossy.
“What we are doing with Bulldog is to enable the male audience to access that same level of information, content, and ultimately personalized recommendations about their own skin needs and concerts in a purely digital fashion. We felt that there was a need to provide a new level of personalization to the male audience to address all their concerns and needs in a digital world,” says Sampo Parkkien in an interview for Personal Care Magazine.
Walmart has been making bold moves in riding the retail personalization wave, driving some serious growth initiatives and timely partnerships, like a partnership with Symbotic LLC, that are pivotal to their future.
The retailer is perhaps best known for its journey of growth and reinvention, always driven by the ever-evolving customer and mastering the omnichannel experience for customers. Walmart CFO Brett Biggs said the retailer is "investing in fulfillment centers and automation" and other initiatives that will enable growth and personalization.”
One of the key strengths of the giant is the ability to champion its leaders to adapt and scale. Walmart has started this year with some hires at the top of its U.S. offices, naming new merchandising and e-commerce chiefs, and announcing the exit of the chief customer officer.
These new talents have already given Walmart a boost in e-commerce. Most importantly, it will enable the largest retailer to compete on all fronts – both online and off – by offering customers a more personalized, higher-performing, and data-driven experience.
“We have more data than nearly everyone in the world. We’re making heavy investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning to grow our business,” says Jeff. “Why? Because we have to.”
Novelty is hard to come by within the crowded skincare category and meet all consumers’ needs. But for natural beauty giant L’OCCITANE, all is possible. The beauty brand introduced the Duolab device, harnessing the power of technology to create unique, at-home personalized experiences for their customers.
Duolab’s concept is built upon three pillars: personalized skincare, highly natural and clean ingredients that are preservative-free and efficient, and a freshly blended formula. Customers purchase the device to personalize their skincare daily with individual capsules that can be blended each day at the moment of application. Based on the user’s input, it then mixes a moisturizing base with a targeted concentrate.
This divide is a unique concept representing the beginning of skincare as a fully personalized, blend-it-at-home offering And as Reinold Geiger, L’OCCITANE Group’s Chief Executive Officer, says:
“To continue to prosper, we must constantly innovate, search for new natural ingredients and create original formulations with genuine benefits. Duolab is a groundbreaking skincare system set to revolutionize the cosmetics industry.”
If you shop at CVS, prepare for this innovative change at multiple stores.
CVS Health has been growing rapidly over the last few years. “As Andrea sees it, we are in the midst of a whole personal exploration into the nature of “self-care” and CVS was able to meet the expanding needs of its customers, whether it was a drive through rapid test, something I did a few times, administering crucial vaccines or simply testing a new type of mascara or bath salt”, says Dean DeBiase Revieve's Chairman, in his latest Reboot Chronicles episode with Andrea Harrison, VP of Beauty & Personal Care at CVS Pharmacy.
And if you shop at CVS, prepare for this innovative change at multiple stores. If you're always looking for the next thing in beauty, skincare, and wellness, you'll be excited to learn that CVS is taking a big step forward. The retailer is piloting a new skincare and beauty format called Skin Care Center, launching in three CVS locations, featuring a wholly owned "shop-in-shop" beauty experience to bring enhanced access to skin health innovations.
“This new format introduces "prestige brands to mass beauty retail" and provides a personalized experience for shoppers,” CVS said.
And as part of its ongoing mission to deliver personalized and customized health and wellness solutions to its customers, CVS Pharmacy has also launched a pilot program with personalized digital brand experience technology company, Revieve, to offer skin diagnostic and make-up virtual try-on experiences.
6. Shiseido Company
Today, the success of Shiseido is paramount. Shiseido, one of the largest cosmetics companies in the world, isn't relying on its reputation alone for business success. Instead, the 150-year-old Japanese firm keeps disrupting the industry by delivering the most personalized services across the globe. In the past, the brand launched a Digital Consultation Mirror that allows beauty consultants to offer personalized, in-depth counseling. At that time, the system was the first in the Japanese cosmetics industry.
Last year, the brand introduced the first over-the-counter Skin Visualizer. This contact-free device measures and visualizes skin's Beauty Circulation, a concept developed by Shiseido referring to the elements of beauty circulating in the skin, to provide consumers with personalized beauty advice and product recommendations.
To use the Skin Visualizer, consumers sit in front of an in-store mirror, answer a few questions related to their skin type, and take a selfie. The user is provided personalized digital skincare advice based on their skin metrics, which adopts artificial intelligence, expert algorithms, and real-time information, such as the user's location, to determine an overall skin health score.
BABOR has always been customers' best choice due to its more profound understanding of customers' skin needs and ability to serve its customers from anywhere, anytime. BABOR has a truly unique take on the personalization of skincare. This innovative brand revolutionizes technology, utilizing the latest in the beauty industry to provide the most personalized digital skincare experiences to its customers.
Following the launch of the BABOR Digital Skin Advisor, an experience that provides customers with a detailed skin analysis and personalized skincare routine powered by Revieve, BABOR has recently launched, Skin Coach, a post-purchase experience that enhances customer loyalty and commitment by supporting customers in setting skin goals, tracking changes in their skin over time, and nurturing the customer with relevant content according to their needs.
Today, BABOR is now able to educate its customers on their skin issues, curate customized product discovery and drive sustainable customer retention through AI, positioning BABOR as the primary key destination for skincare purchases.
8. No7 Beauty Company
No7 Beauty Company is another excellent example of a brand getting beauty personalization right. No7 has long been consumers' best beauty destination in the UK, offering clinically-proven, scientifically-backed, ground-breaking results. But with an increase in new customers shopping on its website recently, the brand decided to redouble its digital efforts.
This is why beauty brand No7 has made "personalization at scale" a priority, according to Anisha Raghavan, No7 Beauty Company's Chief Marketing Officer. The brand recently worked with Revieve to collect customer skin concerns and combine them with location data to offer product guidance. As a result, critical business metrics, including conversion rates and AOV, jumped after implementation.
In partnership with Revieve, the No7 brand utilizes first-party data – making customer data very accurate and reliable – enabling the brand to understand its customers better. Hence, a cosmetics company could meet scalability challenges and serve its growing customer base.
"It's more important than ever that we provide a personalized brand experience and product offering that enables every customer to shop how they want because growing brands through relevant product differentiation alone aren't enough. Today's consumers don't just buy products; they buy experiences, they are empowered and expect personalization." - Kiran Sandhu - Global Innovation Manager for Skincare, No7 Beauty Company.