Beauty is in the App of the Beholder

Commerce is changing as we live and breathe. The way we interact with and experience products is continuously changing. Businesses are putting more and more power into the hands of the consumer. This is especially true with cool new interactive apps that enhance the product experience. Whether it is a luxury brand like Burberry or the more modest L’Oreal, they are all focused on making the buying experience more personalized, customized, and convenient.

Previously, we have talked about how image recognition apps are helping shoppers find products they want faster. In addition to that, many apparel and beauty brands are engaging consumers with unique experiences.

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L’Oreal just launched an app called the Makeup Genius. Using this, women can virtually try on lip, cheek and eye products. The app uses facial mapping technology by Image Metrics to turn the phone screen into a magic mirror of sorts.

Sephora has unveiled a similar experience using video feed technology developed by ModiFace. The technology precisely tracks a person’s facial movements and applies color in real time. Currently, this is an in-store experience.

Burberry introduced the Beauty Box in their Covent Garden store in London. It is similar to the in-store experience mentioned above wherein consumers get to virtually try products on.

Some might wonder why these companies are investing in technology when women get to try products on in the store anyway. The hook in these experiences is that they are exclusive. The consumer is not trying on a product that other women have used before. It’s a unique experience designed just for her. And there’s something magical about it when it just appears effortlessly on a screen.

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The same is true of personal shopping apps as well. Shoe shopping app Stylect learns a shopper’s preferences, likes, dislikes, and recommends shoes accordingly. Not only does it recommend the product, it offers a direct link to click through and buy it. An app like Shoefitr helps consumers buy with more confidence as it makes online sizing easier.

North Face is bringing an app that is powered by IBM’s Watson. It actually lets users ask queries based on where they are going, what they are going for, what time of year they are going etc. and the app makes personalized recommendations of what they need to buy.

Fetch is a personal shopping assistant that is powered by real people. Consumers just need to describe what they want via a picture, text, or voice message, and an expert gets them the best deal possible and even places the order on their behalf.

All the companies mentioned here are taking commerce to the next level by making it more personalized, customized, and targeted. What exciting times we are living in! Technology powers all and makes it seem like magic to the end consumer. And that should be the goal of any brand or retailer – to deliver magical delightful experiences. That’s what is going to drive conversions and loyalty in the new age of commerce.

Combining customer intelligence with product intelligence will help businesses deliver the right product to the right customer at the right place, every time. At Indix, we are building the world’s broadest and deepest product catalog to enable product-aware applications. It’s our contribution to delivering the magic.

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