Revieve, JCPenney partnership and how traditional retail, technology can work together

By Ravyn Cullor

- Last updated on GMT

Image courtesy of JCPenney and Revieve
Image courtesy of JCPenney and Revieve

Related tags retail DTC digital e-commerce AI beauty 4.0 beauty tech

Technology could spell the end of traditional retail, but a new partnership between Revieve and JCPenny aims to join the two worlds together.

The partnership, announced in September, including the launch of Revieve-driven AI skincare advisor and AR make-up try-ons, aimed to make the shopping experience hyper-personalized.

Sampo Parkkinen, CEO of Revieve, told CosmeticsDesign the benefit of a retailer like JCPenney integrating AI and AR technology is to allow consumers at various endpoints to effectively reach the purchase point on a self-serve basis.

“But beauty consultants can also harness and use these types of solutions to effectively provide superpowers and supercharge the knowledge, credibility and in-depth engagement with an individual consumer in an in-store environment,”​ Parkkinen said.

A “fresh approach” to department store retail

Parkkinen said the launch of these beauty and personal care technologies lines up with JCPenney’s efforts to integrate more digital solutions into the shopping experience.

“Effectively what we are doing with JCPenney is enabling the consumer to access digital solutions inside the consumer journey for skincare and color cosmetics,”​ Parkkinen said. “That enables them to discover products, with makeup, try those products on and ultimately purchase those products with the help of technology.”

He also said Revieve doesn’t aim to replace beauty advisors or eliminate the physical retail environment but instead uses technology to aid professionals to be more effective. 

As a retail store that can carry thousands of beauty and personal care products, Parkkinen said the application of AI and AR technologies can also be beneficial to brands. 

“The question that brands want to consider is how to get noticed by the end consumer amongst this wide array of brands,” ​Parkkinen said. “These technologies provide an equal possibility for all the brands to get discovered by the end consumer.”

Takeaways for beauty professionals

During the pandemic, most of the beauty industry turned to digital and DTC retail environments, and as consumers feel ready to dive back into an in-store retail environment Parkkinen said different types of AR and AI technology can create a more engaging buying process.

Even for brands or retailers that don’t have a strong e-commerce presence, Parkkinen said digital tools and solutions can still be valuable to get consumers to the point of purchasing.

“Although these solutions are digital in nature, you should still deploy them, even if you're a traditional retailer, you should still look at these solutions as a way to bridge that gap between the offline and online worlds,” ​Parkkinen said. 

From large retailers and brands down to specialized brands, he also said it’s important to have a clear idea of what the goal of deploying digital tools is before building out those solutions. 

For example, he said brands may be looking to move a large volume of products, create an exclusive experience, go viral, create a self-serve buying journey or aid in-store consultants.

“With all the news that goes out about these technologies, there may be an inclination for you to say, ‘I want to do that, because everyone else is doing that',”​ Parkkinen said. “Fundamentally understanding what is it that you want to solve for when you are deploying this technology is a very healthy approach.”

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