Today, e-commerce has advanced to the point where 51% of all Americans prefer to do their shopping online and the number of online purchases increases by about 23% each year. However, when it comes to the cosmetics industry, things haven’t been looking so great in the past few years. The main reason is that customers have come to expect the ‘real-life’ experience when it comes to beauty products, something that technology couldn’t provide – up until recently.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at just how the technology is changing the beauty industry at the moment.
The Real-Life Experience
When L’Oréal developed a beauty app called Makeup Genius things started to change for the better, as mapping technology allowed the users to see how they’d look with L’Oréal makeup. The app was developed by Image Metrics – a team that’s also known for developing mapping technology that was used in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Sephora also uses technology to advertise their products, by using beacons in their stores that communicate with mobile devices in order to deliver a real-time marketing experience to users who opt to get updates. The more technology continues to develop in the direction of delivering a real-life experience to the users, the more beauty products are going to be sold online.
Online Content Usage
Over 60% of beauty product purchases are directly influenced by YouTube videos, based on Google’s research, which basically helped them visualize just how the products they were interested in would look on them. The same research, however, also highlighted that half of all videos from the top-selling brands have average views of less than one thousand. This means that while video content is certainly influential when it comes to beauty products sales, it can also be difficult to get the content through to the right people. That said, companies started heavily investing in SEO and targeted marketing (think Facebook Ads) in order to push their content strategies through. This is especially beneficial for connecting with younger audiences.
Social Media Presence
Having an active social media presence has become crucial for almost any business out there, especially for companies that are looking to communicate with younger audiences. Social media channels are perfect for targeting the right people, which is why brands like Sephora invested a lot in order to build a huge following base on Facebook and Instagram. Sephora even pushed it further, by partnering up with Soldsie, an e-commerce startup, which lead to Instagram users being able to purchase Sephora products directly from Instagram. It’s never been easier to reach your existing customers than through social media channels, which is why many brands like Lash Blossom eyelashes immediately ask you to like them on Facebook as soon as you land on their homepage.
With the release of Google Wallet and Apple Pay, online purchases have become considerably easier than before. The reason why online purchases weren’t always as popular was because of lack of security, as well as complicated checkouts which would make people change their minds about a purchase. However, with digital wallets on the rise, beauty companies have started to seize the opportunity. Sephora, for example, has partnered up with Apple Pay to create a digital wallet that can be used to easily purchase their products. As Bitcoin also slowly grows in acceptance, online purchases are sure to change in the future as well, so keep an eye out for new payment possibilities.
Home Beauty Devices
Only a few years ago consumers usually had to visit a dermatologist to get an appropriate skin treatment for most of the skin-related issues. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrinkles, sagging skin, or even sun damage, there’s a huge demand for skin-related services, which isn’t an expense to sneeze at. That’s why today at-home beauty devices are becoming more and more popular, as they offer an alternative to expensive professional treatment. That said, there are still some conditions that will require you to go to a professional, but for any minor issues, you can choose from a wide range of high-tech beauty devices. While this field has been ruled by a couple of huge brands in recent years, things are likely to change as competition is getting fiercer and more companies have realized a huge opportunity that this market brings.
There’s not a single aspect of our lives that isn’t affected by new technologies and beauty industry is no exception. While there’ll always be a place for live stores in this industry, online purchases are certainly going to grow in numbers in years to come. This should come as no surprise, as we’re adopting the smart-home lifestyle, one where our AI assistant can do the purchases for us.