ONLINE SHOPPING TRENDS: WHAT’S AHEAD FOR BEAUTY AND TECHNOLOGY?

March 26, 2017

ONLINE SHOPPING TRENDS:  WHAT’S  AHEAD  FOR  BEAUTY AND TECHNOLOGY?

By Kate Morris, founder adorebeauty.com.au

We live in exciting times. Technology is continuing to open up new ways for brands and retailers to provide our customers with an enhanced experience. What are the technologies that might shape the future of beauty retail?

Augmented reality

As the name suggests, augmented reality (AR) technology creates effects that overlay or add to the real world. Pokemon Go has been one of the most popular games recently utilising AR; but in the beauty world, there is huge potential to use AR for “try-on” or “magic mirror” applications for makeup.  
L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius app is a prime example, where the user can view makeup shades on their own image in real time.  I think in future we will see the YouTube gurus delivering their makeup lessons via this technology. Imagine having Zoella or Lisa Eldridge showing you how create their latest makeup looks - on your own face!

3D makeup printing

Hands up if you watched Luc Besson’s 1997 movie, The Fifth Element, and your biggest jaw-dropping moment was when Milla Jovovich’s character applied her eye makeup instantly with a Chanel compact that looked like a pair of ski goggles. (I think I actually drooled a little bit.)  
Well, science fiction may soon become science fact. Foreo - the makers of skin gadgets such as the Luna silicone sonic cleanser - have released a promotional video for a prototype 3D makeup printer called the Moda.  According to the video, Moda scans your face, then uses 3D printing to spray mineral makeup “ink” onto your face to create a range of makeup looks in around 30 seconds. The price for Moda hasn’t been released yet (it’s still in invitation-only beta), but I’m definitely putting this gadget on my wishlist.

AI-driven recommendations

When we think of artificial intelligence (AI), we probably think of the Hollywood version: robots with feelings, or malevolent computers. In reality this term applies when we create software that can use information to make decisions, and to improve those decisions by learning over time.  
There is tremendous potential to use AI to analyse huge data sets of customer behaviour - what customers bought, and how much they liked it - to create very powerful tools for product recommendations.  What if we could pinpoint exactly which shade of lipstick or which brand of moisturiser was going to rock our customer’s world - the moment she walks into our store or clicks onto our website?  We could save her from ever wasting her money again, and thus create a loyal customer for life. That’s the future of customer service!




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