“Digital and Beauty are a perfect match”
Technology is causing consumer behaviour to change faster than ever with a dramatic shift from in-store to on-line purchases.
With cosmetics being tactile in nature, traditionally customers have wanted to ‘try-before-they-buy’, but within the era of advanced technology, customers are now becoming dissatisfied with traditional beauty products…
The in-store experience
The traditional mindset of ‘try before you buy’ is slowly being replaced by digital technologies aimed to heighten and optimize the customer retail experience. In a study of 2,000 customers, it was revealed that 65% of shoppers are eager to see more touchscreen technology, and 57% of shoppers are more likely to visit a store if it is kitted with virtual reality . Consumers are keen to embrace the blurred lines between the virtual world and real life, resulting with beauty brands monopolising on this.
Perusing the aisles of beauty stores are slowly becoming a past time with the introduction of virtual make up Apps, like Makeup Genius . Professional grade facial tracking and mapping use algorithms to analyse and digitise the consumer’s face, allowing real-time application of cosmetics to find the perfect match; this means that consumers can try on products in the comfort of their own home, rather than applying half used testers in store. The App then takes consumers down a path of discovery, with a personalised, tailored experience to their perfect product, providing promising growth for the sector.
The beauty industry is now one of the fastest growing categories in eCommerce and is expected to drive 40% of sales in 2020 . With a wider range online than in store, the traditional customer now shops on the sofa, with a tea in hand. Rapidly expanding into viable alternatives to the makeup counter, with in-home luxury technologies now being affordable, digital is increasingly a lucrative discovery for consumers wanting to embrace the technology era.
Ever wondered why you see so many 10 second winged-eyeliner tutorials on your Instagram explore page? Technology is helping to target women who aren’t confident with makeup; answering their questions within seconds without the need to approach a sales assistant.
Beauty brands have discovered the advertising and marketing potential of social media. Online video content is crucial, with YouTube hugely aiding in education of beauty products with a total of 43.5 billion beauty videos available to watch in 2015 . Most beauty content on YouTube is generated by beauty creators and beauty bloggers endorsing products rather than official brand accounts. The most popular type of content are makeup tutorials; “71% say social media posts encourage customers to buy particular products”  and according to Google, 66% of beauty product buys are influenced by YouTube helping them to visualize how the product fits into their lives . With this in mind, beauty companies are increasing their brand awareness through the use of original content and SEO alongside their current product mix to hit a huge wave of customers.
Over the last two years Instagram have doubled their user base and they now have over 700 million monthly active users . Why wouldn’t beauty brands get involved? The benefits are numerous and beauty brands are capitalising on their social media engagement programs to increase brand loyalty with great results e.g. MAC cosmetics being a beauty brand lead on Instagram with over 15 million followers . Online social networking, mobile photo-sharing and video-sharing are important tools to reach the increasingly growing mobile audience. As more people are referring to the internet for their beauty answers rather than in-store assistants, it’s important that beauty companies join the 60% of beauty brands that already have online profiles to maximize brand awareness.
Check back for part two…