How Technology Is Transforming the Beauty and Personal Care Industry
When we talk about technology breakthroughs in the digital age, the beauty and personal care sector does not come up as frequently as industries like financial services, education, marketing, and manufacturing. Nevertheless, the sector is being affected by the digital wave as much as any other industry.
In fact, according to CB Insights, 2017 was the banner year for the so-called BeautyTech sector, when majority of leading brands invested in technology to create next-gen products and to deliver next-level customer experience.
Let’s dig deeper to find out more about these technology breakthroughs and how they are reshaping the beauty and personal care industry.
Over the past couple of years, beauty brands, large and small, have introduced several smart devices/cosmetics in the market to enable customers to approach their personal care at a whole new level. Here are some:
L’Oréal Smart Hairbrush
Launched in early 2017, this hairbrush uses advanced sensors with signal analysis algorithms to score hair quality and monitor the effects of different hair care routines.
Neutrogena 360 is a 3D scanning technology powered device (accompanied with app) for skincare that analyses your skin over time and offers product recommendations.
Hi Mirror is Amazon Alexa-enabled smart mirror that uses AI for daily skin analysis and care recommendation and AR to allow you virtually try makeup.
Nowhere else personalization is more appreciated and needed than in personal care. Beauty brands realize this and are relentlessly striving to come up with products and services designed for customers’ individual needs. Let’s look at some examples:
This skincare brand uses an AI-engine to analyze beauty database (from the internet) on factors like skin type, genetics, environmental factors, lifestyle, skin concerns and goals to help customers with skincare products ideal for them.
HelloAva is a data-driven virtual beauty assistant – a chatbot that uses machine learning to recommend products based on an individual’s skincare needs through an interactive conversational UI.
Imagine using shampoo and conditioner just made for you. Sounds too good to be true, isn’t it? Apparently, Function of Beauty does just that. Using advanced data analytics and propriety algorithms, Function and Beauty make custom shampoos and conditioners as per individual’s hair needs.
Hi-tech In-store Experience
In-store digitization is nothing new. But recently, there have been some innovative technology implementations that are truly transforming the in-store customer experience for beauty retail. Let’s check out some of them:
Sephora is being widely lauded as the pioneer of a number of innovative in-store initiatives to offer a seamless physical-digital experience. Some of these initiatives include color IQ facial scanning to help customers find perfect skin tone match, interactive screens for product suggestions, makeup tips, and even for fragrance check.
NewStore empowers retailer with its simplified mobile apps for in-store staff, embedded with omnichannel order management for connected stores to enable them provide customers a seamless and highly personalized shopping experience.
All these technology breakthroughs are more than just successful experiments. These are innovative business moves with the potential to earn long-term customer loyalty on which brands can easily build further through product recommendations and other strategic tactics. Incumbents of beauty and personal care industry must react to this shift in product and customer experience – be it through partnerships with BeautyTech startups or by innovating in-house.