As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the beauty industry, retail and consumers in general are evolving to focus on digital platforms that provide contactless and hygienic shopping experiences. The advances taking place in the retail world can be described with one interesting word: Phygital. Going “phygital” in business practices and shopping experiences involves combining physical shopping touch points with digital technologies in a way that keeps the customer experience at the forefront.
To explore the beauty industry’s newly “phygital” landscape, Wayne Liu, General Manager and SVP of Perfect Corp. was joined by Lisa Sequino, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the NA Portfolio at The Estee Lauder Companies. Watch the insightful discussion here and read on to learn more about the beauty industry’s phygital evolution as well as what it means for a successful direct to consumer strategy.
The Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Beauty Industry
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the way that beauty brands interact with consumers and drive customer engagement. With social distancing guidelines in place, online shopping has increased exponentially, leading brands to focus more energy on their digital marketing and online shopping touch points. This has led to the rise of phygital experiences.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to retail industries worldwide, some industries saw significant growth during stay-at-home orders. In particular, beauty brands who adopted beauty tech solutions such as virtual try-on and phygital experiences such as online beauty consultations experienced dramatic increases in customer engagement. Estée Lauder’s online sales saw triple digit growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 due to their integration of Perfect Corp.’s virtual try-on and live chat capabilities. These phygital experiences helped engage consumers who were seeking beauty advice and product recommendations from the brand online.
3 Pillars of the Phygital Beauty Industry Post-COVID
As more and more beauty brands make the switch to phygital marketing strategies, there are 3 distinct factors that brand owners should keep in mind as they look to integrate these experiences into their omni-channel shopping journey.
1. Double Down on Digital Investment
As the retail and beauty industries experience a digital transformation, there’s never been a more important time than now to invest in strong digital technologies. Digital technology can help enhance marketing and sales strategies while engaging consumers in a personalized way across platforms. Perfect Corp.’s beauty tech solutions such as AR virtual try-on, AI foundation shade finder, and digital beauty consultation technologies have helped hundreds of top beauty brands create engaging phygital shopping experiences that re-imagine in-store experiences on digital platforms. With these technologies, consumers can virtually try-on products and receive personalized beauty consultations all from their laptop or mobile device.
2. Transfer to Touchless Store Operations and Try-On Experiences
As the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, safety and hygiene have become a huge priority for both beauty brands and beauty customers.
One of the best ways to make customers feel safe in the post-pandemic world is to offer contactless operations and experiences at in-store locations. This can be accomplished with touchless store entry, payment, and even contactless product try-on experiences. With Perfect Corp.’s AI-powered virtual try-on technology, customers can virtually try-on dozens of makeup shades in seconds without ever touching or opening a physical product. Perfect Corp.’s virtual try-on technologies have also been enhanced to meet the needs of the Post-Covid beauty consumer. The technology now also features gesture control, voice activation, and face mask detection for a truly contactless product try-on experience. These enhancements allow customers to safely and hygienically try-on products in a truly contactless and digitized setting.
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3. Provide Digital Beauty Consultations
With virtual beauty consultation technologies such as Perfect Corp.’s Beauty Advisor 1 on 1, Beauty Advisors are able to provide information about products, make product recommendations, and offer the type of personalized beauty consultation that was once only possible at physical store locations.
As beauty brands shift to focus more on their digital platforms, they can work with professional beauty advisors and leverage the power of AR technology to create engaging online consultation experiences.
With this highly interactive experience, consumers will be able to receive personalized and valuable advice in real-time from a beauty professional, all through a digital platform.
Looking To The Future of Beauty Retail
As beauty brands continue to evolve post-pandemic and look to the future, they will need to prioritize technologies that enable personalized and engaging digital shopping experiences. Beauty tech is one of the most effective tools for creating impactful phygital experiences that combine the personalized touch of in-person shopping with the ease and convenience of digital platforms.
To learn more about the rise of Phygital experiences in beauty, click here to watch the full conversation on PerfectCorp.com.
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