Digital technology has multiplied the number of touch points (spaces and places where consumers and products intersect) along the path from discovery to purchase. Every digital touch point is an opportunity to gather data. And this data can be used to the advantage of brands, retailers, and media, as well as consumers.
With artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial reality (AR) tools, even more touch points can be digitized, more data can be gathered, and stakeholders are finding more ways to benefit from all this information. At The Global Beauty Tech Forum, hosted by 24 Seven and Perfect Corp., experts form around the industry talked through what’s happening now and next in beauty tech. Here are a few takeaway concepts:
There’s no such thing as too much data
Asked about the possibility of oversaturation, Michelle Pacynski, vice president of digital innovation at Ulta Beauty, acknowledged quite candidly that at this stage, there is no such thing as too much data. “We want more data,” she told the audience, “and working through partnerships, we’ll figure out what to do with it.”
Tech can help brands be human
SAP’s industry executive advisor, Matt Gardner, shared a statistic from the National Retail Federation indicating that over 80% of consumers “don’t mind if data is being collected” so long as it improves their shopping experience.
Responding to a question from Priya Rao, beauty editor and podcast host at Glossy, about the importance of a consistent experience online and in-store, Gardner explained that “the [consumer] profile—the you-know-me aspect of it needs to be consistent.” And, he added, “our relationship with a brand, is like a relationship with a person.”
Later on in the day, Alice Chang, CEO and founder of Perfect Corp. expanded on this, noting that “now, every channel collects different data. It’s not connected yet. A connected world is next,” she says. The basic idea here is that data that a website or app gathers about a given consumer will be available to in-store and brand operations staff; and likewise, in-store data gather by beauty consultants, smart shelves, facial recognition, and point-of-sale tech will inform that same consumer’s online experience.
Good digital beauty content engages consumers
Angelique Serrano, beauty director at InStyle magazine recognizes that “beauty today is a dialog, not a directive.” Indeed, today’s consumer media is necessarily interactive.
In a conversation moderated by Lindsay Colameo, principal beauty editor at Perfect Corp., Serrano, along with Dawn Davis, senior editorial director at PopSugar; Sam Escobar, digital deputy director at Allure; Joelle Mefford, director of innovation at Meredith; and Leah Wyar, vice president and general manager at .dash, talked about the importance of platforms (print, interactive print, social media, voice and audio), the value of storytelling, and the structures and strategies behind the scenes that make today’s major media ventures more socially responsible and more adept at consumer engagement.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.