Ready for your close-up? How virtual make-up aisles are making the future of advertising more attractive.

Woman tries out the Sephora Virtual Artist at the beauty retailer’s store
Credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The global cosmetic skin care market is set to reach $185.5 billion by 2027.
Since the start of the pandemic, the use of online platforms to communicate has forced us to take a good look at ourselves…literally.

How many times during a Zoom call have you found your eyes drifting away from the person you’re talking to, to the small image of yourself in the corner of the screen? It’s happened to me more than I care to admit, and there was me thinking the digital age would allow me to look virtually perfect at all times!

It’s therefore no surprise that beauty consumers are changing their buying habits, gravitating towards items that allow them to replicate the salon experience at home and shield them from the possible impact of an increasingly webcam-centred lifestyle.

Foundation in particular is one of the most sought after products and even the sale of skincare fridges has seen a considerable rise.

I’ll be honest, I had to look up what a skincare fridge was (it turns out it’s pretty obvious). People are also adding in more steps to their skincare routines to avoid that washed-out online look. Serums in particular are on the up, with a 20-40 % increase in searches since the start of the pandemic.

So what is Beauty tech and how is it changing the cosmetics industry?

With people unable to visit make-up experts, digital algorithms and online quizzes have stepped in to help deliver that camera-ready look.

Augmented Reality (AR) allows for ‘try-on’ face scanning tools, which takes a picture of your skin to create your perfect shade match. MAC Cosmetics was one of the first to rise to the challenge and its virtual try-on allows you to scroll and click on swatches, making it possible to experiment with 800 different shades.

A new type of customer interaction

As advertisers, we are always looking for ways to make the customer journey more immersive.

Contextual ads combined with AR technology are a step in a more productive direction. This type of content integrates into the customer’s own physical environment, creating an absolutely unique experience – a suspension of disbelief that leads to an interaction with the object in a completely novel way. A key part of advertising is to create relevance, and augmented reality certainly does that.

Digestible advertising

Research by eMarketer found that global Augmented Reality ad revenues are expected to reach $2 Billion by 2022. AR bridges the gap between the physical and the digital. It offers people an immersive experience…perhaps the closest we can get to the outside world at present. The novelty of the experiences makes them pay close attention and stay hooked to the content.

Have you ever tried a smart beauty mirror or a web aisle from the comfort of your sofa or will you be waiting for stores to re-open?

Are you doing these 5 things to look after your customers?

If there is anything you can do to make your digital marketing customers happy then now is the time to ‘do a Nike’ and JUST DO IT.

Is it time to shift the focus from making completely new customers to instead investing energy in those “casual customers”?
Who are casual customers? They are those new visitors that have already purchased something the one time and are just one step away from making that valuable second purchase.

Consider this likelihood of success:
Selling to an existing customer 60-70% vs selling to a new prospect 5-20%. Now is the time to build a solid relationship, company to customer, by interacting with them with informative content during each phase of their journey.

Here are some of our tips on how to turn one-time buyers into loyal customers:

  1. Use special occasions to promote your products. Is it New Year? Xmas? An anniversary or 5 years since you launched your business? Celebrate this! It’s an occasion to talk about your brand by reminding customers when they first bought your product or send them wishes on their birthdays. These a great way of reminding them that you are there. Even if they don’t take you up on your offer of a discount they will appreciate that you remembered their birthday!
  2. Let your customers know about price changes. If your customer was one step away from making a purchase then some additional information on the price can really influence them when it comes to making that transaction. What’s important here is conveying a sense of urgency when it comes to them adding the product to their basket. These messages with purchase updates create more engagement and promote stronger ties with the brand.
  3. Send a top-up reminder. Has the customer already bought a product that could be running low now? Ink, water filters, copy paper? Now is the time to send a reminder that they should reorder and this will encourage repeat purchases and make sure they don’t go to a competitor for the same product.
  4. Reward Loyalty. Make sure you make the customers who stay loyal to your brand feel that you appreciate their support. Either premium content or exclusive early access to a sale, for instance, encourages commitment to your business.
  5. Reviews. Has your customer made a purchase? Following it up with a request for a review will make sure that your company gains visibility in the eyes of other customers- especially if it’s positive!