Situation: How to Engage Users and Prepare for the Metaverse
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.
The company’s products empower more than 3 billion people around the world to share ideas, offer support and make a difference. Each day its apps are used to send more than 100 billion messages. More than 200 million businesses use Meta apps to connect with customers and grow. Looking ahead, Meta has announced plans to help bring the metaverse to life, providing 3D spaces to socialize, learn, collaborate, and play.
As part of Meta’s commitment to giving users more engaging experiences, the company introduced artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to allow beauty companies to offer virtual try-on (VTO) experiences to users of Instagram Shops.
Beauty Virtual Try-On for Instagram
Meta Solution: Hyper-Realistic achieves this goal working with Perfect Corp. and the Perfect Corp. AR platform. Perfect Corp. combines powerful AI with its industry-leading AR to provide stunningly lifelike virtual try-on experiences that help consumers discover and shop for new beauty products directly from their social feeds.
“We believe the Metaverse will represent the biggest opportunity for businesses, since the advent of the internet,” says Chris Barbour, Director, Augmented Reality Business Development & Partnerships, Facebook Reality Labs, Meta. “A lot of brands are thinking about how they can get started today, and we believe that as they plan for the Metaverse, augmented reality and virtual try-on provides a natural entry point. Augmented reality is available now in 2D, and it helps brands prepare for the 3D asset creation and virtualization that will be part of the metaverse.”
Driving Social Commerce Success for Brands with AR Virtual Try-On
Meta and Perfect Corp. have teamed up to bring augmented reality virtual try-ons for beauty products across Instagram. This is transforming how customers shop for beauty products on one of the biggest social media platforms, with Instagram having over a billion active monthly users.
AR-powered virtual try-on is a must-have technology tool that can significantly improve consumer engagement and make the shopping journey more fluid, simple, and fun. With the introduction of AR makeup try-on on Instagram, beauty brands can deliver a tangible and interactive shopping experience to their fans on social media.
Shoppable social media content amplified by AR offers a new window of opportunity for beauty brands to sell their products. The interactive and fun nature of makeup virtual try-on fits perfectly into the social media universe. It doesn’t interrupt the reading or viewing experience on the social platform, keeps consumers engaged and entertained, and accelerates product discovery.
Brands can seamlessly integrate virtual try-on anywhere across their Instagram communications by simply adding a Shop button. This takes the user directly to a brand’s Instagram Shop. Behind the scenes, brands use their Perfect Corp. console to give users access to the same product VTO experiences offered from their own sites, as well as the ability to make purchases.
AR makeup try-ons benefit both brands and consumers by providing shoppers with a unique opportunity to try makeup products before purchasing and delivering a personalized shopping experience, thus increasing customer loyalty and engagement and driving sales. Product returns are reduced, because the VTO is so realistic that customers can precisely see how a product will look before making a purchase.
The Benefits of Virtual Try-On
Meta has enjoyed several benefits since deploying its Perfect Corp. AR-powered virtual try-on solutions for Instagram, including:
Many Paths to VTO. Integrating VTO experiences on Instagram helps consumers discover brands.
Provides a Seamless Experience - from Product Discovery through Purchase
Providing AR-powered virtual try-on experiences on Instagram creates a complete experience for the user—from product discovery, through virtual try-on, to purchase.
Driving product discovery, Perfect Corp. virtual try-on can be delivered across IG Shop, IG Stories, IG TV, and IG Post.
“From a brand’s perspective, we are helping them meet their business objectives for the complete funnel,” Barbour says. “Discovery and awareness are made possible across Instagram, through our feed products and through stories and the voices of brands directly and through brand influencers. Because this is all happening in a social environment, there is this opportunity for amplification as users share their discoveries with family and friends.”
Virtual Try-On deepens the shopper experience, making it easier for users to convert to purchasers because they can see so precisely how products actually look on themselves.
“Virtual try-on is a key element of the full experience,” Barbour says. “All of this contributes to helping brands meet their business objectives throughout the sales funnel.”
Virtual Try-On is Entertaining, Too
Virtual Try-On fits well with Meta’s commitment to bringing users into the world of augmented reality, in part because VTO is fun.
“When looking at the value of augmented reality, there is immense value from a utilitarian standpoint—like giving customers the chance to try something on before making the purchase,” Barbour says. “Virtual Reality can also bring entertainment into our lives as well as provide opportunities to learn about the world. One reason people like VTO so much is that it is fun. Part of the promise of augmented reality is to serve as a technology overlay to the physical world, giving users meaningful experiences while allowing them to explore things they are passionate about. Virtual try-on is an example of that.”
“Users Are Spending Much Longer on AR-Enabled Ads for Beauty” Leading to Increased Sales Conversion
Not surprisingly, users who engage in AR-powered virtual try-on spend more time on a brand’s site. While Meta hasn’t yet released specific figures, Ogo Ifelayo, Business Development & Partnerships, Facebook Reality Labs, Meta, says his team has seen positive results from incorporating VTO onto Instagram.
“We know that users are spending much longer on AR-enabled ads for beauty,” Ifelayo says. “The longer a person spends trying on makeup through virtual try-on, the greater the likelihood the visit results in a sale. We’ve seen signals that show the longer a user engages with the Try-on experience, the likelihood of conversion may increase.”
Maximizing Value of Existing VTO Assets by Leveraging them across Instagram
For brands that already use Perfect Corp. technology on their website or through in-store AR-powered VTO experiences, making these same assets available on Instagram is as simple as clicking a few buttons on their Perfect Corp. console. This quick launch of assets is made possible through automated server-to-server integration, delivering a fast and efficient way to bring Instagram’s AR commerce experience to beauty brands.
“Brands like the fact they can make use of the investment of time and resources they've already made in creating the VTO catalogs used on their websites,” says Ifelayo. “Brands value the fact that they can reuse those same assets to offer VTO experiences on Instagram Shops, for ads, or other experiences.”
Ifelayo says brands also value the fact that they are enhancing the user experience—while also reducing the cost of returned products.
“The signs we’ve seen tell us that brands are enjoying a lower cost of returns because the augmented reality of Perfect Corp. virtual try-on is so exact that customers can meaningfully try before they buy. This lowers the chances of a customer purchasing a lipstick shade, for example, and sending it back because she doesn’t like the color.”
“We want consumers to have a shopping experience in which they can feel confident that they're going to receive the exact product that meets their expectations,” Barbour says. “Augmented reality technology is at the point where you can create that kind of consumer confidence. This is why we want to have the best AR technology available, to enable that.”
Unified User Experience
The ubiquity of Perfect Corp. technology within the beauty industry creates a unified user experience as different brands share their VTO catalogs on Instagram. This provides an ideal experience for the consumer.
“People tend to buy from multiple brands—perhaps one brand for lipstick, another for eyes, another for foundation—or multiple brands for all of those,” Barbour says. “When brands are using Perfect Corp. VTO technology, a consumer on Instagram has a unified experience when going from one brand to another. So, whether you're exploring the Laura Mercier site or the Chanel site, you’re not encountering a different VTO interface. As a consumer goes from one shop to another, they are enjoying a consistent experience. Thanks to Perfect Corp. AR technology, customers can access the same precise, hyper realistic virtual try-on experience from their favorite brands.”
Perfect Corp.: “A Great Company to Work With … The Brands Also Enjoy Working with Them”
As Meta brings AR-powered virtual try-on to over a billion users on Instagram, it has found Perfect Corp. to be a great company to work with—with strong engineering and leadership.
“Working with Perfect Corp. is a fun journey,” says Ifelayo. “We are impressed by their engineering, as well as their dedication to getting colors and shades to be a perfect match. This dedication to engineering pays off on the business side for the brands.”
Ifelayo has been impressed with how many beauty brands are already working with Perfect Corp.
“Beauty brands we talk with enjoy working with Perfect Corp. and feel that they are a trustworthy partner,” Ifelayo says. “We’re benefiting from the strong relationship that Perfect Corp. has established with beauty brands, and from the AR work that's already been done.”
All of this makes Perfect Corp. a good partner as Meta looks toward the future. Ifelayo notes: “We’ve already established a good foundation for the partnership, and we're excited about the future, because so far we're only scratching the surface.”
“Perfect Corp. has a very strong leadership team,” Barbour says. “The support they have provided for our collaboration is greatly appreciated. Perfect Corp. is an invested part of the AR ecosystem, and we, of course, care about growing the AR ecosystem. Perfect Corp. AR technology firmly positions the company as meaningful participants in the broader AR ecosystem. While we are building up our own AR product offering, we want to support the growth of the broader augmented reality ecosystem as well.”
About Perfect Corp
Perfect Corp. is the leading SaaS artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) beauty and fashion tech solutions provider, dedicated to transforming the consumer shopping experience through innovative digital technologies for businesses and consumers. Recognized as the AI and AR powerhouse, our experienced team of engineers and beauty aficionados are pushing the frontiers of technology to offer results-driven, interactive, and sustainable digital-first beauty and fashion tech business solutions for brands and retailers. On the consumer side, with over 950 million downloads globally, the immersive collection of YouCam apps, including YouCam Makeup and YouCam Perfect, provide a platform for individuals to virtually try-on products, looks, and styles conveniently from their smart device. To discover expert beauty tech insights and unlock powerful ROI secrets, read the Complete Guide to Beauty Tech.
Further information about Perfect Corp. can be found at perfectcorp.com