We’ve witnessed the explosive growth of the beauty industry over the past couple of years, and that’s just the beginning. According to estimates, the global cosmetic market is expected to reach $675 billion by 2020.
There are many factors which have led to this, but digital transformation is among the most important ones. The latest technologies have found their way into a somewhat traditional world of large enterprises which used to control the cosmetic industry and disrupted it.
L’Oreal, one of the titans of this industry recently named beauty and digital a perfect match, and stated that they no longer want to be a No. 1 beauty company in the world, but the No. 1 beauty tech company.
Let’s see how digital has transformed the cosmetics market and how you can leverage the synergy of beauty and brans to attract your customers.
The Rise of the Influencers
21-year old Kylie Jenner has recently dethroned Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest self-made billionaire.
The former reality-TV star, model, and a member of the famous Kardashian/Jenner clan actually tapped into the power of her own social media influencer status and launched a beauty line which was predestined to succeed. All the right ingredients were there – a huge social media following, equally popular family members who promoted her products, and millions of impressionable teenagers who wanted to be just like the It-girl of the moment.
All this helped Jenner Cosmetics make $420 million in retail sales in just 18 months.
But, apart from these household names whose faces cosmetic companies want to plaster all over their products, there’s another type of influencers that might not have millions of followers but are capable of making a significant impact.
These amateur influencers who record make-up tutorials and provide different beauty tips on YouTube are much more relatable and real than big stars who always look like they’re on the catwalk. That’s the reason why so many people are willing to take their advice when it comes to picking a particular cosmetic product.
These micro-influencers usually have loyal followings and that’s their main competitive edge.
The Beauty and the Bot
64% of internet users say that 24-hour service is the best chatbot feature.
Customers want answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, and they want it now. Not 10 minutes later or god forbid tomorrow.
Naturally, human agents can’t be online all around the clock, and it would be expensive to hire a number of people for this job, so chatbots are perfect tools for reducing customer churn and improving engagement on websites.
But the beauty industry has taken them to the next level with the help of AI, AR, and VR.
Given that one of the greatest obstacles when it comes to shopping beauty and skin-care products online is picking the right shade or color, innovative brands have implemented virtual try-on apps to help their customers choose what best fits them.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist, an intuitive beauty bot, allows its users to upload their selfies into the messaging interface and try on different makeup shades. Thousands of lipstick and eyeshadow shades are at your fingertips, and this smart app will also show you how to best apply them based on different facial measurements it conducts.
Besides that, it’s also possible to do color-matching by uploading the picture of your dress; the system will pick the products which go with it. Finally, if you aren’t sure what shade to choose, you can leave it to the app – it will give you recommendations based on your skin tone and style.
Up Close and Personal
Personalization and individual customer experiences play an important role in every industry.
Up to a couple of years ago, all that we could see in commercials and ads were slender, white, young people. No wonder that different audience segments were feeling left out.
Similarly, older women are frustrated over the fact that there’s not enough information on how to properly care for their aging skin.
The latest trends in the cosmetic industry show certain improvements as big brands have become more focused on inclusivity, which means that campaigns nowadays target customers of all colors, ages, and sizes.
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty was launched back in 2004 as an attempt to celebrate people of all shapes and sizes and highlight real, natural beauty. It featured ads and commercials in which models were regular women, instead of models.
Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line brings more choice to women of color, and for example, its Pro Filter Foundation line comes in 40 tones. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the darkest ones sold out first, given that according to a survey women with darker skin tones have to pay 70% more to purchase foundations from specialist ranges.
Advancement of different technologies which now allows brands to collect customer information on a large scale and process it, as well as implement some high-tech solutions in order to revolutionize their customer interactions has ushered some irreversible changes in the cosmetic industry.