While there’s still plenty of room for the cosmetics industry to grow with e-commerce, research firm Euromonitor says brands are also making moves to digitalize the in-store experience.
The increase of technology in beauty aisles comes as manufacturers look to offer a better service and level of information provision to their in-store customers, the research firm says.
Innovations like handheld skin color reading devices and beauty kiosks are part of the new trend of digitalizing high street retail.
Slow on the uptake with going digital, the industry has been getting up to speed, with e-commerce in beauty projected to grow a staggering 29.1% this year according to L2 Think Tank, which is the best growth of all the (soft goods) sectors online.
With web cosmetics presence increasingly established, as seen in the ‘Genius’ digital marketing status of several brands, it looks like the industry is now keen to meld the off- and online spheres, using in-store technology.
Packaging supplier MeadWestvaco's vice president of global creative, Steve Kazanjian, noted that when it comes to beauty, this kind of investment will be worth brands’ while.
"We have found that there’s a great opportunity for differentiation within that space to create a more measurable experience where you can engage the consumer on a much more emotional or visceral level,” he said.
Cosmetic players like Sephora and L’Oreal have already recognized the importance of investing in the in-store experience, Euromonitor observes.
Positive consumer response has been strong for specialist retailer Sephora’s interactive ‘Sephora + Pantone Color IQ’, for example, which matches customers’ skin tones to a color within their foundation range.
Similarly, L’Oréal have launched a virtual retail kiosk which matches the colors in a user’s clothing and with beauty products from the brand’s range which would complement them.
Customers can directly purchase the recommended products from the kiosk, or have the recommendations emailed to them.
“More interactive beauty kiosks are likely to appear in the future as beauty companies seek to engage with young consumers,” predicts Euromonitor.