While just a few years ago the use of augmented reality was restricted to video games, today many other industries are rushing to find new ways to apply it in order to surprise consumers and provide unique experiences. The augmented reality (AR) store is a successful answer built by the cosmetic industry.
This weaving together of beauty and technology is in fact able to attract a new type of consumer, ready to explore the possibilities of augmented reality and the advantages it brings. While it started as part of pandemic efforts for social distance, the truth is a mix between enhanced convenience and novelty has attracted large numbers of people.
Now, makeup, skincare and haircare brands offer the possibility of virtual try-ons, so that it’s possible to virtually test products before buying them online. As such, beauty retail stores have been able to offer new, highly-sensorial experiences thanks to digitalization, bringing the future of cosmetics to the present times.
Cosmetics and technology: keys to a successful blend
There are many ways in which cosmetics and technology are merging, and many of them are worth exploring by brands in order to see what is the best fit for them.
For some, it could be embracing the new crossover of gaming avatars and cosmetics: as gamers look for new ways to personalize their virtual versions, some cosmetic and makeup brands have been quick to offer their own virtual products.
Additionally, the following are some other ways cosmetics and the digital way are joining forces:
- Personalized, predictive beauty. The use of Big Data is allowing brands to generate predictive and personalized cosmetic recommendations for each consumer based on biometric data. This combines with significant advancements in cutting-edge cosmetic science, such as advancements surrounding skin DNA analysis and hormones. The result is consumers being more and more interested in hyper-personalization: for instance, 72% of Canadian consumers aged 25-34 are interested in hyper-personalized products, according to Mintel.
- The cosmetic metaverse and the augmented reality store: the concept and current possibilities of the Metaverse represent a big potential for cosmetic brands, who see how their opportunity to connect with their clients and build a virtual community takes on a whole new meaning. The Metaverse blends both physical reality and digital objects to create immersive experiences, generating a new layer for beauty and personal care brands to create connections with their clients. In an augmented reality store, shopping becomes a truly immersive virtual experience where consumers not only try potential new looks, but also are able to socialize (for instance, via video chat), play games and build a whole new online experience.
As such, virtual try-ons and the augmented reality store have the potential to become the new normal when it comes to sales strategies for cosmetic brands.
Again, younger generations are leading this adoption: according to Snapchat’s 2022 Generation Report, 92% of Gen Zers are interested in using augmented reality for shopping, including 88% of them being interested in using AR to try on makeup or clothes.
The augmented reality store: what it means for cosmetics
In a way, the augmented reality store builds from strategies surrounding social commerce, in which community and convenience merge into shopping experiences via virtual channels (such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Pinterest and specific social commerce apps).
At the same time, the generation of an augmented reality store can add value by incorporating livestreaming experiences, where consumers can discover beauty products and access in-depth content about them in an entertaining, convenient way.
But going beyond entertainment or convenience, an augmented reality store could take into account how consumers are still expecting sustainability and coherence in brands, even in the virtual realm.
As such, every step of the value chain related to an augmented reality store is important, so that stores can build from the choice of ingredients adding value to consumers looking for unique, technology-based natural ingredients whose claims are not only clinically backed, but also AI-proven.
Ingredients such as Provital’s WonderAGETM serve as an example of a new generation of cosmetics: the efficacy of this well-aging ingredient measures the emotional response of its users thanks to Artificial Intelligence. A truly original, digital experience in which technology adds up to generate an interactive experience for the augmented reality store of the future, now.