As more beauty fans utilize YouTube as a tool for discovery and product reviews, the world’s leading video platform is expanding its virtual try-on offerings to deliver creative new ways for viewers to digitally sample beauty products. In a strategic partnership between Google and Perfect Corp., YouTube now allows brands to deploy augmented reality (AR) to power an in-app virtual try-on experience for viewers.
During Perfect Corp.’s Global Beauty Tech Forum, Perfect’s GM and SVP Wayne Liu was joined by the head of AR Beauty Partnerships at Google, Kinnari Jhaveri, and Chief Digital Officer at e.l.f., Ekta Chopra, to demonstrate how the beauty brand has utilized YouTube to bring virtual try-on to its users.
YouTube AR: The New Discovery Destination for Beauty Lovers
“Consumers are increasingly turning to YouTube to be their trusted shopping companion and relying on YouTube creators to be a trusted and authoritative voice when it comes to exploring and considering products for purchase,” says Jhaveri. “70% of people say they bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube.”
YouTube’s massive global audience — which boasts 2 billion monthly active users — relies on the platform and its community of creators for personal advice, honest reviews, and hands-on testing to make product purchasing decisions. With the rise of “shoppertainment,” adding virtual try-on allows viewers to experience the makeup virtually for themselves, without leaving their home. It also further bridges the physical-digital gap between brands and their consumers, and deepens the connection at a time when in-person product demos are not a possibility.
YouTube AR: A Brilliant Way to Bring Interactive Virtual Try-On to Makeup Tutorials
While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for virtual try-on solutions, leading brands have already taken advantage of the technology. The new YouTube integration offers brands another touchpoint and platform through which they can reach their target — and existing — audience.
The Perfect Corp. and YouTube partnership reimagines beauty content by offering a heightened level of engagement to its viewers. Delivering a more personalized experience through AR and AI technology invites advanced discovery alongside the video content, and brings personalized engagement with each interaction.
When a viewer is tuning in to a YouTube beauty video — specifically, YouTube in-stream ads — viewers can virtually try on the featured products (open this link on a mobile phone to try the experience) in real-time. Viewers can tap “Try On” to open a new frame that launches the camera, then displaying the product on the user. The user can then opt to purchase the product, driving them directly to the brand website to complete the order.
How e.l.f. Cosmetics Uses YouTube AR to Transform Its Video Experience
“AR is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have and we’re already seeing if you sprinkle this technology across the full consumer journey, results are really remarkable,” says Chopra. E.l.f. has integrated the YouTube virtual try-on experience into the customer experience, and has seen an immediate impact.
Recommended Reading: How Virtual Try-On is Revolutionizing the Customer Experience
“We’re seeing AR campaigns drive more users to the site, and seeing almost a 21% improvement in bounce rate compared to our evergreen campaigns,” Chopra adds. “AR campaigns are helping us drive more unique new users at a lower cost per unique user, almost by 63% lower cost.”
While the brand also utilized Perfect Corp.’s virtual makeup and mobile SDK technology, the addition of YouTube virtual try-on further deepened the relationship between the brands and its end users, and brought makeup testers into the digital ecosystem.
The process for integrating a brand’s makeup product line into the YouTube AR try-on is simple, Chopra and Jhaveri note. For brands who have already digitized assets (SKUs) in the Perfect Console, they can simply grant permission for Google to receive these product assets. Perfect Corp. will then send the asset feed to the YouTube experience, and brands can begin working with their designated Google account team to begin running in-stream campaigns using the AR component.
With a few simple steps, brands can begin integrating product try-on into YouTube-hosted videos.
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