After looking at the different technologies the beauty sector has adopted, what’s in store for the future?
With the tides turning, L’Oreal’s chief executive Jean-Paul Agon couldn’t agree more that technology is the future for beauty companies, saying “digital and beauty are the perfect match” (1).
Beauty brands are embracing the digital world by responding to the needs of their customers. Many have prioritised the digital revolution to redefine how they engage with their customers, releasing apps, enhancing content marketing and bringing their eCommerce sites to the center of their core strategy, to make it an intrinsic part of the business.
Technology has allowed beauty brands to expertly use data to predict the future. Trends within the beauty industry are critical in staying ahead of the consumer, with predictions from beauty market analysts providing important tools for product development. Beauty brands don’t need to know what is currently trending, but instead what will be trending! There can only be growth within the brand if they can predict what the consumer will want next. Data analysis allows beauty brands to understand their consumer: who they are, what they buy and where? Grasping this can predict growth forecasts and trends early.
L’Oreal created Préférence Les Ombrés, a dip-dye hair product which was created as Google trends identified the dip-dye trend long before it was popular, allowing product development in time for the height of the trends. Préférence Les Ombrés then sold 50 million units in the first two years (2), proving the effectiveness of data analysis in the beauty industry.
Alongside trend predictions, beauty brands can collect a large amount of customer data through several marketing strategies and use this for personalisation to help drive their business.
Beauty sample box Birchbox is leading the way in personalised data collection. By getting the customers to answer a questionnaire about their beauty preferences during signup, Birchbox collects an extensive amount of data feeding into their CRM, allowing for an expert marketing strategy – again proving ‘one-size-fits-all’ is not on the agenda for fast developing beauty companies. With these detailed customer preferences, companies can then make informed, vital decisions to identity new markets and marketing strategies for product development.
The feature of the beauty industry
The beauty industry has barely skimmed the surface for the possibilities within technology and digital. The future of what beauty industries will be able to do in upcoming years will be massive. With the focus on hyper-personalisation, there are upcoming possibilities to create 3D skin.
By using 3D printing, skin brands will be able to mimic and automate the skins productions process, allowing beauty companies to test products for toxicity and efficacy; combined with improving sensors to measure skin tone, sleeping patterns, stress, activity, sun exposure etc. By understanding the skins production processes through technological advances, a more in-depth understanding can be made about products and how they can be personalised accurately to an individuals skin.
3D printing can also be used to develop specific colours of eyeshadows, lipsticks or powder. MODA are the worlds first digital make up artists to use this way of developing cosmetics. The consumer selects an exclusive colour which will then be replicated. Lancôme have recently combined luxury artistry and technology in a groundbreaking beauty experience whereby each woman can have their very own blend of custom foundation. This foundation will be released exclusively to Harrods on the 30th June. With the use of data and a one-to-one consultation, the beauty advisor will scan a customers facial skin tone to process the “perfect match” using a state-of-the-art algorithm. The custom-made machine is then equipped to create the blend using six peristaltic heart pumps that dispense red, yellow, white and dark pigments, moisturiser and a thinner that allows for customised coverage depending on the exact unique customers request. Lancôme’s game changing formula adds another dimension into your futuristic personalised make up bag.
The beauty industry is using technology as a catalyst to change the landscape model of the industry. This has been done by enabling more self-expression and personalistion for the consumers by developing digital and technical innovations through the use of data trends, enhancing content marketing and brands bringing ecommerce sites to the center of their core strategy. The industry has transformed the way it thinks about the consumer, switching focus from ‘mass’ to ‘personal’. By using technology to maintain exclusivity in such a large industry, they are unlocking their own brands potential to create massive new business opportunities in the future.