Amorepacific’s in-store AR beauty mirror reduces consumer contact time while Covid-19 gains traction

The feature has been deployed at the cosmetics company’s Seoul, South Korea, store in order to limit shopper interactions with staff

A new augmented reality (AR) mirror at Amorepacific’s Seoul, South Korea, shop is helping customers buy cosmetics in-store without physically trying them on.

The mirror takes a photograph of the user’s face and analyses it in order to recommend products based on skin texture.

It also addresses skin concerns such as blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles, according to Reuters.

Customers are then shown a computer-generated image of what they look like wearing a range of foundations, lipsticks and eye products.

“Due to the coronavirus, it felt uncomfortable to test cosmetics after someone had used them,” said Amorepacific shopper Cho Yu-lim, who was using the in-store mirror.

“This is very convenient as I can see the actual colour on my face without even touching my face.

“It was frustrating as I couldn’t try cosmetics on my face, but it was fun to find the product that suits me best through this AR device.”

In order to reduce infection rates even further, Amorepacific has put QR codes next to all of its beauty products on display so customers can check details via their phone rather than talking to staff.

“It took very little time and I didn't need to talk to anyone before I made my purchases,” added the student.

In the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, South Korea was hailed for its handling of the outbreak.

At its peak, the government deployed mass testing and strict contact tracing in order to contain the virus, despite seeing localised new cases across the country.

The country has recorded more than 13,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 363 deaths.


'A view for the future?'

Analysis:
By Becky Bargh
Online & Social Media Reporter


In an attempt to reduce physical contact and the risk of contamination, the majority of cosmetics retailers have removed product testers and in-store make-up services from their shopping experience.

Space NK, Sephora and Ulta Beauty are just a handful of big beauty players that have taken the decision to remove testers from their stores.

But now more than ever, the pandemic has shown not only how effective digital features can be in bricks-and-mortar, but how they could be a lifeline for business owners as they work hard to keep customers in store and sales ticking over.

Amorepacific’s QR codes and AR-powered mirrors are not a revelation to the industry, but their roll-out does embody a shift that we are likely to see increasingly replicated.

In an effort to reduce packaging, Lush launched its QR scanning app in 2019 and Sephora has been powering smart mirrors worldwide for many months.

These tech features are still a novelty for many but, as the world grapples with the pandemic, could soon become an expected – and necessary – part of the consumer journey.