Q&A

"A natural continuum": Revieve and Shiseido launch multipurpose AI Makeup Advisor

By Ravyn Cullor contact

- Last updated on GMT

The tool acts both as a virtual try-on and beauty concierge, but also allows the brand to collect zero-party and first-party data. © Getty Images - John Lamb
The tool acts both as a virtual try-on and beauty concierge, but also allows the brand to collect zero-party and first-party data. © Getty Images - John Lamb

Related tags: AI, virtual try-on tech, digital, DTC, e-commerce, retail, beauty tech, Shiseido

Shiseido recently partnered with technology company Revieve to launch AI Makeup Advisor, which both helps customers find products online and collects zero-party and first-party data. CosmeticsDesign spoke with Revieve CEO Sampo Parkkinen about the new tool.

Can you tell me a little bit about what this tool you launched is?

We launched the AI Makeup Advisor. Historically, the way that brands and retailers have tried to personalize the customer experience has been through a virtual try-on. They're almost like table stakes these days, brands have had them for years. When you really look at what a pure virtual try-on is, and how it fits into the overall customer experience, it sits in a narrow window of time, from a consumer experience perspective, of a consideration phase before purchase.

With the AI Makeup Advisor, we obviously understood that a virtual try-on is part of that five-star digital experience in the makeup category. But what does that overall experience look like? What is the personal customer experience that helps the consumer discover new products, helps the brand provide content, education, advice, guidance to the consumer, and recommends relevant makeup products that would fit them?

How with that same experience, can the brand collect zero-party or first-party data about the consumer, in order to really understand what the consumer is looking for? What do they feel and what is the purpose of them looking to buy these products? The insights you can get with a virtual try-on solution can tell you a lot about what people are playing around with, but not really the intent of the consumer. 

That's what we looked to create with the AI Makeup Advisor, this next-generation personalized customer experience that goes beyond a virtual try-on, but really helps the brand and the consumer meet in this personalized experience that goes from initial discovery while fueling that zero-party, first-party data back to the brand.

Can you expand a little bit on what you envision the use of this data looking like in a DTC retail environment?

There is this, I wouldn't say the death of cookies, but obviously, there is this underlying notion that third-party data or third-party cookies are going to be if not illegal, at least obsolete. It's going to be very difficult to gather information on consumers through them.

What you're really left with as a brand is first-party data, data that you can collect from the consumer directly, or zero-party data that you can collect from the consumer directly which the consumer gives you on purpose in exchange for something. It's not your browsing behavior, but it's data that consumers tell you because they think that you can give them something valuable in return. That data is becoming the primary method. 

The way we envision brands or retailers using this data initially are things like remarketing, retargeting, understanding what the concerns are, what the preferences of consumers are and marketing. 

There's also a deeper use case for the data, which is really about enabling those brands and retailers to understand what types of products or product lines they should be developing or they should have in their inventory. That is a fundamental use case, what your consumers care about, and getting that data not through focus groups or interviews, but directly, unbiasedly from the consumer. 

How are you going to measure success with the launch of this tool?

Even though we work directly with brands and retailers, one of the measures of success for us is, does the consumer interact, do they care, do they return to this type of solution? For us, it's only if we're able to put something in front of our brand or retail customers that the consumer fundamentally cares about. That's the only way that these solutions have value. 

The other way that we're looking at this is the returns that the brands or retailers are seeing. I don't just mean immediate sort of engagement or conversion, but retention or average order value. For us, the real measure is if we help our brand and retail partners establish strong relationships with their audience using this technology. 

What else should cosmetics professionals know about this tool?

There used to be this perception that this technology is replacing the beauty concierge. That is not the case, that is not why technology like this exists in the first place. What this technology does is really allow for the standalone use case, in an environment where there is no physical individual or distributor consultant.

Even in an environment where that beauty consultant or physical individual exists, this type of technology allows for them to have superpowers to really deepen their engagement with consumers. 

Is there anything else you want to add or anything important you feel like we missed?

It is a fascinating time for cosmetics as we come out of this pandemic, which fundamentally changes the way consumers choose to interact with their brands and choose to build relationships, connections and ultimately the way that they choose to part with their dollars. Technology overall, whether it's a technology like ours or new environments like the metaverse, for example, it's going to play a much larger role in enabling brands and retailers to really thrive in this environment.

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