A lot hinges on China successfully navigating its transformation from an economy driven by manufacturing to an economy driven by consumerism. Although in this important transitionary phase GDP growth has remained optimistic, overall growth in consumer purchasing is moving in an ominous direction of late and demonstrates a worrying downward trajectory. In response, stakeholders in the cosmetics sector are coming up with innovative technologies to enhance engagement, improve shopping experiences and hopefully spur more growth. One of the most interesting examples is seen in the use of augmented reality and intelligent facial analytics.
“Magic Mirror on The Wall, Who’s The Fairest (Virtually) of Them All?
One of the most interesting examples of cosmetics enterprises leveraging new tech is the use of “magic mirror” technology in which your real-world face is digitally beautified using cosmetics products. The digital representations accurately mimic the real-world application of the cosmetics being sold. Additionally, the tech can incorporate analytics which offer user recommendations based on the individual characteristics of the consumer. The tech can be utilized using both handheld devices or fixed devices in offline stores or during experience marketing activities and allows consumers to try out hundreds of different products, styles etc. and get immediate feedback on colors, suitability etc.
Recently, YSL beauty opened their largest flagship store in the world in Tianhuan Plaza, in Guangzhou, the capital of southern China's Guangdong province. This flagship store uses its own proprietary “magic mirror” tech offering consumers an unpreceded level of ease to try out multiple products.
Coincidentally, SHISEIDO URARA also announced that from September this year, it will launch in its stores a kind of intelligent magic mirror, which integrates many functions such as AR makeup, skin diagnosis and overseas purchase.
Prior to all this, Meitu, a popular app produced by a prominent Chinese tech company, launched its own smart mirror MeituGenius, featuring AI virtual makeup, and providing users with an internactive AR makeup experience.
This kind of smart technology has also been successfully leveraged by famous brands at home and abroad, including MAKE UP FOR EVER, Watsons and DFS Group, etc.
Last week, MeituGenius announced plans to scale up collaboration with DFS Group, to deliver an enhanced version of its AR beauty mirrors in 25 DFS stores in 13 countries and regions around the world.
In addition to virtual eye shadows, lipsticks and blushes, MeituGenius has offered virtual sunglasses and facial features analysis. Using MeituGenius, consumers can not only get useful recommendations on choosing makeup, but also on sunglasses that fit the contours of their face and accentuate their individual features.
AR magic mirror has become the new darling of beauty stores because it offers an innovative interactive experience for consumers with its eye-catching functions. In this way, it makes shopping more vivid and interesting, and will effectively lengthen customers' time in the store increasing chances for sales conversions.
On top of this, virtual makeup can also minimize store losses due to customers repeatedly trying out different makeup and minimize the discomfort for consumers associated with the repeated application and removal of makeup in a short space of time.
At ChemLinked we predict that AR tech like this Magic Mirror tech will become a mainstay for cosmetic companies. We have already seen Tmall announces the launch of its Flagship Store 2.0 which will offer full support for AR, 5G and AI tech. Given the importance of Tmall as a sales channel for imported cosmetics products it is likely we will see these technologies gain rapid traction amongst both domestic and international stakeholders and become a key differentiator and driver of consumer purchasing preference.
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