Recently, tech company Revieve, a software company that specializes in beauty-centric AI/AR data collection and analysis for cosmetic and personal beauty care product companies, released its latest reported entitled “2023: Augmenting the Beauty Consumer Journey.” In this report, Revieve provided in-depth analysis on the current beauty product consumer avatar and identified some predictions for the biggest AI/AR trends in the personal care and cosmetics spaces this year.
For some deeper insights into the report, its analysis, and what to expect in this industry space in the coming months, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Sampo Parkkinen, CEO and Co-Founder at Revieve for his expertise and thought leadership in these areas of interest.
CDU: What are some ways that brands can offer hybrid AI tech experiences to better appeal to consumers considering purchasing decisions?
Sampo Parkkinen (SP): Building a one-stop-shop for their customers to discover new products in addition to engaging and influencing their decisions whether it is offline or online. To achieve this, brands should bring personalized brand beauty experiences to market by leveraging comprehensive solutions that span across the entire consumer-facing journey.
Revieve recently formed a strategic alliance with Google Cloud to accelerate omnichannel digital transformation for the beauty industry and provide businesses with personalization solutions that strengthen relationship-driven commerce.
Leveraging tools that recreate the in-store product evaluation experience with options to try on products before purchase online. For instance, Shiseido partnered with Revieve to launch the first-of-its-kind AI Makeup Advisor experience to support consumers in achieving their desired look with custom-to-you makeup and product recommendations.
Providing an omnichannel experience to create an offline plus online approach helps brands or retailers better respond to customer needs anytime and anywhere.
CDU: How can brands create a one-stop-shop format to better support consumers as they navigate the shopping process?
SP: To achieve a one-stop-shop format, brands should leverage personalized brand beauty experiences to meet their customers where they are, whether it’s through single interactions or multi-channel journeys. Understanding customer psychographic data will be equally critical for brands and retailers to help customers navigate complex shopping journeys.
With AI/AR beauty technologies, beauty brands and retailers can fulfill engagement gaps along their journeys and forge meaningful relationships with their consumers. This means customizing each experience based on past customer interactions across various verticals – from the first touch point to the last to create loyal repeat shoppers and lifetime advocates.
As an example of this, Revieve recently partnered with JCPenney to bring the AI Skincare Advisor and AR-powered Virtual Try-On technology to its department stores across the U.S. The new launch gave JCPenney customers flexibility in shopping in-store and online with a holistic solution that allowed them to address their individual needs consistently across multiple channels.
It’s clear that the future consumer is more susceptible than ever to shopping fatigue as shoppers are inundated with a wide range of options when considering purchasing decisions.
CDU: What are some ways that brands can better cultivate a customer-centric approach to educating consumers as to their available options, and better match individual shoppers to their best-fit product choice?
SP: Brands and retailers need to deliver on both informative and intuitive consumer journeys. With that in mind, consumer data plays a key role in providing analyses and insights to serve customers in the most personalized way. Customer data can also be leveraged for consumer segmentation, leading to precision targeting, better retention, and higher-value customer acquisition.
By utilizing tools such as virtual shopping assistants, selfie analysis, and true-to-life virtual try-on technologies, brands and retailers can acquire these consumer insights to deliver a memorable omnichannel product discovery experience.
For instance, Revieve, in partnership with Living Proof launched the first AI Haircare Advisor to empower customers to understand, embrace, and care for their hair by helping them find what they are looking for. In the AI Haircare Advisor experience, consumers input their concerns and expectations out of a haircare routine.
Next, they take a selfie that's analyzed with patented mobile selfie diagnostics and determine the condition of different hair parameters such as hair type, volume, curl type, color, and others. Finally, the user is provided with an optimal hair care and styling routine with an AI recommendation engine. These AI and AR tools have proven essential, delivering on personalization to meet the needs of consumers and increase customer average order value (AOV).
CDU: What are some ways brands can integrate AI/AR technology into a more personalized approach to the individual shopper’s purchasing journey and encourage purchasing conversions as well as customer retention?
SP: AI/AR technology enables brands and retailers to unlock zero- and first-party consumer data that can be used to create deeper emotional connections, reach new audiences, and ultimately encourage purchasing conversions. By analyzing a customer's purchase history and browsing behavior, brands can suggest products that align with their interests and preferences, making it more likely for them to make a purchase.
By doing so, brands are building a relationship with the customer rather than just pushing transactions through ‘relationship commerce’. By collecting powerful data and using it to enhance retargeting and communication strategies, brands can keep customers engaged and connected with their brand.
For example, by triggering promotional emails to segment customer groups based on their interests and behavior, brands can keep customers interested in their products and services.
In addition to personalized product recommendations, brands can also inspire customers with personalized content. By using technology like Revieve, brands can create customized content that speaks to each customer's unique needs and interests, increasing engagement and driving sales.
For example, Living Proof has built the experience around having consumers share their email before receiving product recommendations. Through this strategy, the brand has gathered over twenty-five thousand emails in ten weeks through Revieve’s AI Haircare Advisor experience.
CDU: Are there any unique challenges for brands as they seek to incorporate AI/AR technology into their marketing approaches? If so, what are those challenges, and what are some ways brands can overcome them?
SP: We believe that a more holistic approach to marketing is needed to meet the evolving demands of customers and build brand loyalty. This involves providing personalized experiences tailored to the individual needs and preferences of customers, powered by AI/AR technology.
While many brands and retailers are focused on creating flashy augmented reality experiences, the real value of beauty tech lies in how it can be integrated into business processes to drive more personalized and engaging consumer experiences.
Investing in tech-powered experiences may require a shift in priorities and budget allocation, but the long-term benefits can be significant. An extended database can provide valuable product data to power these experiences, making it a worthwhile investment for brands and retailers looking to stay ahead of the competition.
This is where an extended database can be incredibly valuable, as it can provide the missing product data needed to power personalized recommendations and other tools.
When it comes to cost, investing in tech-powered experiences may not provide immediate ROI compared to cheaper alternatives like influencer campaigns. However, the long-term benefits of investing in these experiences - such as increased customer loyalty and better data-driven decision making - can ultimately lead to higher ROI in the long run. Brands and retailers need to consider the bigger picture and prioritize investments that will have lasting impact.
CDU: Anything else to add?
SP: Personalized brand experiences are no longer just a nice-to-have, but rather a must-have for retailers and beauty brands. Consumers want to feel valued and understood by the brands they interact with, and personalized experiences can help to achieve that.
This is particularly true in the beauty industry, where customers are looking for products and services that address their specific skin concerns and beauty goals. By offering personalized brand experiences, retailers and beauty brands can build a stronger emotional bond with their customers and create a sense of loyalty that goes beyond just product quality or price. This is why personalized brand experiences have become essential for retailers and beauty brands alike.