Leading social media platforms have grown to support millions and even billions of users, who log-in daily to connect with others. As user behavior continues to evolve, how brands interact with these social media sites has grown and changed over time. While many people originally joined sites like Facebook and Instagram to stay connected with friends and family, the scope of how users interact- and who they interact with-across these platforms has expanded far beyond social circles.
Social media has since expanded to include all brands and businesses who are looking to connect with their consumer. The infiltration of businesses across the platform has quickly changed how and why users are drawn to each platform as well. Brands around the world have continued to recognize the need to meet their consumers across these platforms, and has since led to the development of social commerce. This channel is focused on the buying and selling of products and services through social media and has quickly emerged as a thriving subset of global commerce.
Brands are quick to identify the value in looking beyond traditional media like magazines and print ads, to connect with customers. That’s why brands are using social commerce to meet their customers where they are—on their phones and browsing social media. Smartphones are more accessible than ever, which makes them one of the most powerful marketing tools today, and an essential sales channel that brands must leverage for a successful 360 business strategy.
Leading beauty brands, like Laura Mercier, have already begun integrating social commerce and AR virtual try-on capabilities across their business model and social media channels. At Perfect Corp.’s 2021 Global Beauty Tech Forum, Glossy reporter Danny Parisi sat down with Laura Mercier’s Global Digital Manager, Charlotte Greenbaum and Meta’s Director of Augmented Reality Business Development and Partnerships, Chris Barbour to discuss how shoppable virtual beauty and Perfect Corp.’s AR technologies have revolutionized Facebook’s engagement and the consumer beauty shopping experience for brands on the platform.
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Creating Interactive Social Commerce with AR Technology
Meta has made it easier than ever for Facebook and Instagram users to connect directly with brands and shop the products they see in their social feeds. Special shopping tabs and tagging functions allow brands to tag specific shoppable items within posts that users can shop with a single click. This means that when users come across a product they like on Facebook or Instagram, they now have the ability to virtually try-on products, add items to their cart, browse different variants of products, and check out一all without leaving the social media app. This creates an interactive and engaging social commerce experience.
Meta’s AR Virtual Try-On Experience
To make social commerce even more interactive, Meta has enabled AR virtual try-on capabilities within the Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop experience to add a heightened level of engagement to the app and platform. The integration of innovative AR technologies allows consumers to virtually “try on” beauty and skincare products with true-to-life effects. This helps to tailor the shopping experience to be more personalized and helps users make more confident purchase decisions, ensuring that the product works for them before making a quick and easy purchase within their social media feed.
Advancements in AR virtual try-on have helped to create digital try-on experiences that rival physical ones. The events of 2020 further amplified the fast adoption and widespread application of these technologies to meet the demands of beauty consumer. These hyper-realistic virtual try-on capabilities allow users to see a realistic representation of the product they’re interested in before purchasing it. As a result, users are more confident in their social commerce purchase decisions and feel more connected to the brand as proven by significant increases in conversion rate of browsers to buyers.
Delivering Hyper-Engaged Experiences to Social Media Users
Social media apps like Facebook and Instagram were originally seen as places to share your own thoughts and images (think MySpace and the original days of Facebook). Today, however,, these same social media platforms (updated versions and new platforms alike) serve as online marketplaces and communities where users can explore and connect with more people and brands than ever before. Social media and AR technologies have developed side by side to create a new world of online shopping, connecting brands and consumers across the world with the tap of their smartphone.
Furthermore, AR technology and virtual try-on capabilities have enhanced the beauty shopping experience, by delivering the same high-touch personalized shopping journey as offered through traditional brick-and-mortar stores, through a digital shopping experience, without leaving home. Virtual try-before-you-buy shopping offers a safe, fun, and convenient way for users to connect with brands despite the digital divide.
The Evolution of Social Media and Social Commerce Sales
Social media has long been an essential platform for brands to leverage to connect with their consumers. However, the role of social media and how it relates to the consumer shopping journey continues to evolve.
In the past, brands used their social media accounts to alert the public of in-person events and sales, while today, brands focus on a more personalized approach, interacting with consumers via direct messaging and AR virtual try-on experiences. This type of personalized interaction continues to speak to the modern day consumer. Additionally, AR virtual try-on experiences introduce another level of heightened connection with brands.
To view the full conversation from the 2021 Global Beauty Tech Forum, click here.
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