Disruptive technology changes the way we discover and experience everything. The health and beauty industry is not lagging. We now have the benefit of online and offline touch-points to make the experience so much better.
Companies are working hard at ensuring that they improve their customer experience and engagement, and the numbers make it easy to see. Industry reports show that the beauty industry is set to reach almost $430 billion by 2022. The sector can only achieve it if customers are willing to buy the products.
Companies must, therefore, invest in marketing, selling, and distributing products in various creative ways. This is where technology comes in, and we will look at some of the technological disruptions available.
· Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence keeps fighting for space as the most relevant technology to date. Those in the beauty industry are now using it to generate personalized products using data resources. Such data include genetics, skin type, lifestyle, and environment. It then uses the information to determine the optimal ingredients to come up with the right product.
Companies are now using Chatbots for customer engagement. The buyers will feel that they are talking to a human being, instead of a machine. A company like HelloAva has its version, which they used to collect necessary information from their buyers. The customer will give information such as whatever concerns they have concerning their skincare. They will also highlight which products they especially like. The customers also have the option of uploading a selfie, which the company will then use to give a list of products they would recommend for the user.
· Subscription Boxes
Many companies are now starting to use subscription boxes, to deliver their products to their customers in an efficient, time-saving manner. The companies get to personalize and recommend specific products, thus resulting in better conversion rates. As their customer, you get recommendations on the different products, thus making it more likely for you to make a purchase. Some companies use subscription boxes as a potent marketing tool. The customer will receive products for a certain amount every month. They, therefore, do not have to go to the physical store, thereby making it very convenient by having the products right at their doorsteps.
· Smart Products
We have so many smart products available in the market, all taking advantage of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. L’Oreal, for example, has the smart hairbrush, which will allow you to improve your hair brushing techniques. It will vibrate, thus giving you a warning that you are doing it wrong. An inbuilt microphone and sensors will also record the sound of breaking hair, which helps it build a profile of how you take care of your hair. The data then goes to an app, which will then help recommend certain products to compliment your routine.
· Social Commerce
Studies indicate that 72% of customers will base their purchasing decision on what they see on social media platforms. The same platforms allow customers to make their purchases with a simple tap of a post. With more than 90 million people making purchases through such apps, the beauty industry is taking notice. Successful brands such as Fenty, and Kylie, among others, are already reaping huge profits on such platforms.
· 3D Printing
3D printing is making forays into different sectors, including health care and beauty. It allows for the production, customization, and manufacturing of different products in a very short time. The effect is also rolling over to the costs of the processes. Companies are making huge savings through the use of 3D printing. A company like Chanel has the ‘3D printed mascara wand’ that will give long lasting, well nourished and thick lashes.
You also get to customize your products, which makes it suitable for those in dental and medical aid. The doctors can produce 3D printed prosthetics and other organs. A company like Neutrogena has there Neutrogena Skin 360, which is a personalized mask. Smartphone technology captures facial and skin data, after which it recommends specific products. MaskiD has the custom 3D printed mask that takes into consideration the user’s unique needs, to generate and natural cellulose mask.
· Augmented Reality
You need not go to a shop, buy a product, and then test it. Augmented Reality allows you to simulate the cosmetics on the photo, in real-time from the comfort of your home. It eliminates the need for working with the store assistant, and in a matter of minutes, you will know whether the product is for you or not. You get to play with different combinations of foundation, blush, and eyeshadow, among others. Some of the companies have also ventured into using Augmented Reality to allow customers to test shades of nail polish.
· Smart Skin Advisors
We now have smart skin advisors that will help you rate your skin. Kinpo group from Taiwan is a pioneer in this field. The app will scan your face for fine lines, wrinkles, brightness, and red spots, among others. You then get a report on whether you have excellent or poor skin. You then get recommendations on different products and skin care tips.
· Smart Serums
The skin care brand Atolla is the brainchild behind smart Serums. It takes into consideration your unique needs and helps you see how your complexion will change over time. It does this to help you prevent skin sensitivity and breakups. You also get custom formulas to help with a more thorough evaluation of your skin. Some of the factors it considers include moisture, oil, and pH levels. The company will email you small stickers which are special sensors which you press on different areas of your face. The company will also require additional information such as lifestyle, skin issues, among others. The company uses specific algorithms to predict and recommend what you should use.
The beauty industry is already one that brings in billions of dollars on an annual basis. With the application of disruptive technology, things will only get better. The end-user will get personalized products that will respond to whatever needs they have. The companies will also be able to collect sufficient data to come up with better outcomes. It becomes a win-win situation for everyone who is involved in the process.