SoPost, a global technology company based in Newcastle, London, and New York, provides state-of-the-art online product sampling campaigns for leading beauty and CPG brands, with a focus on consumer product-relevance, data, and analytics.
With a growing concern for meeting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals, coupled with a desire to reduce the waste created during sampling campaigns, beauty sector companies have approached SoPost to find more efficient methods to deliver the best samples to the right consumers.
SoPost identified the value of incorporating AR virtual try-on in product sampling campaigns to reduce sample wastage, enhance the customer experience, and deliver rich data back to beauty brands. The challenge was finding the best provider of virtual try-on experiences powered by industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR).
SoPost evaluated different technology providers before choosing to partner with Perfect Corp., which offers cutting-edge AI+AR-powered virtual try-on technology.
“The Perfect Corp. virtual try-on technology is so lifelike, it’s incredible,” says Jonathan Grubin, Founder and CEO of SoPost. “We initially used
SoPost integrated Perfect Corp. virtual try-on technology with the SoPost sampling platform to create a hyper-personalized, eco-friendly sampling campaign that minimized the product waste that is often created in traditional sampling programs.
“We created a first-of-its-kind digital-meets-physical personalized product sampling experience,” Grubin says. “Beauty consumers have embraced it, and the return on investment is substantial for our Beauty clients.”
SoPost’s inaugural client was an internationally respected maker of foundation. The company announced its virtual try-on and free sample offer across social media as well as from its site.
Precision Sample Targeting. SoPost uses Perfect Corp. AR+AI hyper-realistic virtual try-on to match consumers with the best product for their needs. Consumers can then seamlessly order a product sample.
Consumers were invited to claim a personalized sample. Upon clicking on the offer, they were taken to a virtual try-on experience and invited to choose a free sample of their favorite shade of foundation from the virtual try-on experience.
Consumers were then asked for contact information and a physical mailing address to receive their personalized free sample. The SoPost platform handles the virtual try-on hosting, the data collection, and order fulfillment. SoPost later does follow up contact to ask customers for their satisfaction with the foundation product.
The results included delighted customers receiving a sample they had chosen for themselves, reduced sample waste through precisely targeting sample delivery to engaged customers, a closer customer connection, as well as a wealth of consumer contact information—including permission to contact with future offers.
Innovator Jonny Grubin. Grubin, Founder and CEO of SoPost has brought major innovation to the field of distributing product samples—including integrating Perfect Corp. virtual try-on technology.
“The combination of Perfect Corp. virtual try-on technology and our sample targeting and delivery platform completely changes how samples can be delivered,” Grubin says. “The benefits extend from the consumer, to the manufacturer, to overall ESG goals.”
SoPost and its clients have enjoyed several benefits since deploying the Perfect Corp. AI+AR-powered virtual try-on technology, including:
SoPost prides itself in the depth and breadth of the backend data it collects through measuring how customers react to sample campaigns—both with and without a virtual try-on component. This has enabled them to precisely see the impact of giving consumers the opportunity to virtually try on products and then choose their own personalized sample.
Personalized Samples. SoPost uses Perfect Corp. virtual try-on technology to enable consumers to choose their own personalized sample.
“First and foremost has been the impact virtual try-on has on the click-through rate to
With each of the sample campaigns it manages, SoPost sends an email to every recipient inviting them to purchase the product at the brand's website or at a retail partner.
“Essentially, we are seeing that integrating virtual try-on into the program drove such a higher engagement and such a stronger experience for consumers that 50% more people than usual clicked through to purchase the product,” Gruber says.
ROI benefits extend beyond the 50% boost in click-through to purchase finding because of the data that consumers agree to provide, including permission to contact. The consumer data flows naturally through the SoPost experience. A consumer is initially engaged through the enjoyable process of using virtual try-on to choose their best match. Then SoPost invites them to receive a sample of their chosen product through standard mail. This leads to the customer providing a rich set of contact and permission data.
“Brands we work with place a value on the data they get back from the customer engagement process--whether it’s an opted-in name, or a permissioned review which we then push out to retailer websites,” Grubin says. “One of our clients might send 100,000 VTO samples, and see 50,000 people opt-in to the brand’s database, and receive 15,000 reviews.”
With the SoPost platform, virtual try-on inspired reviews can have an amplified effect.
“We’ve found that the impact of the sample isn't just limited to the person it's going to,” Grubin says. “When a person has a positive experience from the virtual try-on and the sample they receive, they tell their friends and family about it. We then add a third layer of amplification by pushing their reviews out to the retailers that carry the brand. So, one review can have a major impact. The combination of the increased click-through to purchase rate, the wealth of permissioned data, and the amplification of reviews add up to a massive ROI.”
Integrating Perfect Corp. virtual try-on technology with the SoPost platform helps SoPost clients reduce sampling waste while helping them achieve their ESG goals.
For more than a decade, SoPost has been helping its clients reduce product waste, capture consumer data, and better measure the impact of sample campaigns. Introducing virtual try-on has greatly enhanced these efforts.
“Perfect Corp. provides an additional layer that helps drive sustainability because the virtual try-on experience provides such a personalized touch,” Grubin says. “Consumers can so perfectly match the shade or color they want that in some cases they might go straight to ordering without even requesting a sample. When they do choose a sample, it is because they have already seen how it looks through the virtual try-on experience and are highly motivated to learn more. This reduces sample waste by getting exactly the right sample to exactly the right person, which in turn helps ESG sustainability efforts.”
“The precision targeting that brands can achieve using the SoPost platform with Perfect Corp. virtual try-on technology allows them to get the greatest value from the samples they send,” Grubin says. “Physical samples will likely be around for a long time. We can help brands get the greatest return from each sample they distribute. This is great for their ROI, and the reduction in waste is great for the environment.”
The integration of Perfect Corp.’s hyper-realistic AR virtual try-on technology with SoPost’s innovative sample delivery and tracking platform, creates a compelling customer journey. The tailored full circle consumer experience bridges the gap between the digital and physical worlds, allowing consumers and brands to make more confident sampling and purchase decisions.
“Virtual try-on provides a critically important element because it engages consumers at the front end, and creates a sense of excitement for when they receive the sample in the mail because they know that they have already tried it and found the perfect match,” Grubin says. “Our platform also removes the hurdles of finding a sample once the consumer has decided on their best shade or color through virtual try-on. We provide a natural process, a more compelling customer journey.”
SoPost is impressed that Perfect Corp.’s hyper-realistic virtual try-on technology works so seamlessly at scale. No matter how large the campaign, Perfect Corp. provides seamless performance.
“I see a lot of innovative tech day in and day out, and it's rare that something is actually innovative and impactful and works at scale,” Grubin says. “But that’s exactly what Perfect Corp. does. It is the most innovative. Its hyper-realistic AR is impactful, and—critically important—It works at scale.”
The ability to work at scale is important to SoPost because of the size of its global beauty clients.
“We work with huge global companies, and with Perfect Corp.’s scalability we are able to show the client that we can run at the level that moves the needle on what they're doing,” Grubin says. “There’s a huge lift each time we run a virtual try-on sample initiative, and the more we can efficiently scale to meet whatever delivery levels a brand wants, the more attractive the proposition is to our partners.”
Perfect Corp. is a Great Company to Work With.
SoPost has long been the leader in the field of managing sample distribution and tracking campaigns, so it was natural that it looked for the leader in creating hyper-realistic AI+AR virtual try-on experiences.
“We're very much the leader in our space, and we were first to market when we launched,” Grubin says. “In terms of our scale and our technology, nobody really competes with us today. When it comes to virtual try-on, we see Perfect Corp. in the same way. We both hold the top positions, and it shows from the work that we do together.”
SoPost also finds it helpful that Perfect Corp. technology is already used by so many of the beauty brands it works with.
“It is great for us that Perfect Corp. is so well known and respected in the Beauty industry,” Grubin says. “We never have to explain Perfect Corp. and what they do. Everyone in beauty already knows the name and respects the technology. With Perfect Corp. and with SoPost, the name is there, the brand is recognized. This makes for an ideal partnership.”
Perfect Corp. is the leading SaaS AI and AR beauty and fashion tech solutions provider, dedicated to transforming shopping experiences through empowering brands to embrace the digital-first world. By partnering with the largest names in the industry, Perfect Corp.’s suite of enterprise solutions delivers synergistic, technology-driven experiences that facilitate sustainable, ultra-personalized, and engaging shopping journeys, as well as equipping brands with next generation of consumer goods. Perfect Corp. offers a complementary suite of mobile apps, including YouCam Makeup and YouCam Perfect, to provide a consumer platform to virtually try-on new products, perform skin diagnoses, edit photos, and share experiences with the YouCam Community. To learn more, please visit PerfectCorp.com.