Revieve's Senior Vice President, Miikka Mäkiö, discusses beautytech and what Revieve is doing about it in 2019
Beautytech has been trending in 2018 across all regions of the world and we've seen big exits by Modiface or GlamST where brands and retailers are acquiring not just technology but also talent from the limited amount of established expertise available.
We are still in early days of leveraging technology to serve the demanding beauty customers and in 2019 we will be still taking baby steps to achieve significant results.
Nevertheless, we are excited to be working on few really interesting & advanced use cases of beauty personalisation and the boom of beautytech will sure continue during 2019!
But lets do a short recap of 2018 and what is expected in 2019?
A trending word we will see more in 2019 will be individualisation. Especially in beauty traditional segmentation and personalisation doesn't meet the expectations of the consumer.
Today's technology capabilities enable us to provide consumers more individual product & content recommendations based on their own unique skin & environment which will drive the industry forward in 2019.
One big problem many retailers and brands who we discuss with and already leverage different beautytech is that the solutions are built for one channel only.
There might be a cool in-store device which cannot be extended to mobile usage or there might be a cool App built with AR but cannot be used in eCommerce.
Or even worse, an advanced product recommendation logic can be only used in one channel by one brand and adding new products later requires months of manual work.
We recommend looking deeper into the solutions (or getting outside help to do so) around how well the architecture and the technology you are buying fits your potential use cases in next 5 years and how you can leverage the same or close to same technology/solutions across different channels like web, mobile, in-store, WeChat etc.
Difficulty of understanding what beautytech providers offer
We all know the hyped words like AI, AR, VR, Machine Learning, Computer Vision etc. but for many retailers and brands the growing amount of solution providers and additional tech terms makes life difficult when evaluating the capabilities and offerings of different players.
One of the most common question we get is: "Do you use AI?" Well, how do you define AI? Is using weather data or purchase data to provide automatic product recommendations AI? Rather than thinking and buying solutions with AI - buy something that you understand regardless of the fancy words.
We are also seeing more and more of our customers approaching us via big players like Accenture, who are helping brands and retailers to navigate through the change and growing amount of solution providers. Costly obviously but worth considering.
We all want more sales eventually right? Engagement and time spent in the solution are worth measuring but your beautytech should also increase sales in short term too. Especially when diving first time to innovative technologies it's rather easy to find solutions that actually delivery tangible results.
For example our main starting point with online solutions is improving conversion and basket size and more advanced use cases (skin tracking, loyalty etc.) are something usually for future phases once we see the initial results and learn more about your customers. Start small and build new capabilities as you go.
Everything boils down to data. At least with us at Revieve you own all the data we collect within the beauty advisor solutions and only your imagination is the limit how to leverage the data. And you don't necessarily need expensive data platforms to use the data, just a place to store the data in a secure and structured way.
The data part is usually the most difficult (and also most expensive) part of the beauty personalisation as it always requires integrations, identification and not yet many beautytech technologies offer advanced capabilities (we do yes) for further personalisation based on the data that you have.
Building one-off solutions is terrible waste of money. If you get an identified user to go through certain process (e.g skin analysis or some AR experience) think what's next. Are you able to provide further personalised content as a next step or upsell new products?
We don't want yet another App on our iPhone that we only use once (and forget native Apps - web apps do the same in more scalable way). Also, think how the solution can be adapted to new use cases without starting everything from scratch.
We've established our reputation in the markets during last 3 years and we are privileged to work with the leading retailers & brands in the beauty market.
In 2019 more advanced solutions will see daylight and the beauty personalisation will move from just cool AR virtual try-on experiences (which is essentially becoming a commodity in the market) to more comprehensive beauty advisor type of solutions.
In these solutions we treat each consumer as an individual and take into account vast amounts of data to personalise the experience before, during and after the engagement.