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GUEST COMMENT What does the modern beauty shopper really want?

Alice Chang is CEO and founder at Perfect Corp

As more retailers begin to enter the UK market, the beauty space has become more competitive. Beauty shoppers have evolved to expect personalised experiences when searching for their next product. As a result, retailers need to provide immersive and tailored shopping experiences in order to captivate and entertain consumers while increasing brand loyalty.

In order to gain an edge in the market, it is becoming more important for beauty brands and retailers to stay competitive by focusing on how to effectively engage beauty shoppers. Consumer shopping habits are shifting, and this is happening across multiple channels and digital touchpoints. In order to connect with consumers in impactful ways, it’s imperative for brands and retailers to create immersive and personalised shopping experiences. AI and AR beauty technology, such as virtual try-on, has quickly emerged as one of the most effective ways to provide these experiences. This technology allows brands to create unique and personalised experiences for their customers which in turn increases brand loyalty. AI and AR technology enables a more connected and engaging experience for the modern beauty shopper. 

How AI/AR powers personalisation in the customer journey

Today’s beauty shoppers are increasingly looking for a personalised experience. Personalised experiences help brands build valuable connections with consumers by tailoring products or features to suit the customer’s individual needs. AI/AR technology can play a huge role in building this personalised connection, particularly with virtual try on (VTO) experiences that allow consumers to experiment with different looks and shades. These experiences allow every customer to find products best suited to their unique features and style preferences. AI/AR technology also provides a significant convenience to shoppers, by allowing them to experience a personalised shopping experience or consultation from anywhere, at any time.

True personalisation today is impossible without the use of AI/AR technology. Particularly in the case of beauty retail, there are thousands of individual skin shades and needs, meaning brands looking to create truly tailored experiences will need the help of advanced technology to provide customers with personalised product recommendations. 

And this need for personalisation goes beyond just make-up and beauty –  shoppers today are looking for curated experiences that suit their own regimens and needs. In the skincare space, AI/AR technology can provide tailored and detailed analysis. With AI-powered skin diagnostic technology, brands can help customers identify their skin type and skin concerns while recommending products tailored to consumers’ needs, such as products to address redness, wrinkles, acne and more. 

How AI/AR enhances shoppertainment 

While personalisation is important, the modern beauty shopper is also looking to have engaging and fun experiences with brands. The capabilities of AI/AR technology fit perfectly into this new era of ‘shoppertainment’. Shoppers want an entertaining shopping journey whether it be in-store or online. Brands that offer shoppers interactive experiences – such as virtual-try-on – provide an exciting way for shoppers to interact with a brand. These experiences also provide the flexibility to access immersive and entertaining shopping experiences in their own time, whether that is in the comfort of their own home, or on-the-go. The more time shoppers spend on a brand’s website trying on different products and looks, the more likely it is that a consumer will make a purchase, and the same can be said for in-store. Shoppers are more likely to have a fun, interactive experience with AI/AR technology.

In addition to implementing interactive VTO experiences on brand websites and in-store, social media and social commerce also play a key role in the shoppertainment trend. One of the shpppertainment trends popularised by social media is livestreaming, which brands have recognised as  an effective way to reach shoppers. Livestreaming can be done multiple ways, from creating your own content as a brand or retailer, to partnering with an influencer who can give insight into how the beauty product can be used. 

Livestreaming experiences can be enhanced by embedding AR virtual try-on technology. This technology allows viewers to try out different shades or looks, as well as engage with the livestreaming influencer or brand in real-time. With the addition of AR technology, shoppers feel well informed before making a purchase, which ultimately leads to a more satisfied customer experience.

In order to succeed in such a competitive sector, it is essential for brands and retailers to focus on what the modern beauty customer is looking for when making a purchase. This includes focussing on delivering a personalised shopping experience that is tailored to their needs, and ensuring this is delivered accurately through the power of advanced AI/AR technology.

Moreover, with a plethora of options, shoppers can be overwhelmed when shopping. This means brands and retailers must create engaging and entertaining experiences to boost brand favourability as well as give customers the confidence to make an informed purchasing decision.  With this in mind, AI/AR technology is now a must have for forward thinking brands and retailers that want to cater to shopper needs and expectations. In this modern era of beauty retail, digital innovation is essential to connect with consumers and keep a competitive edge. 

Alice Chang is CEO and founder at Perfect Corp

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