Beauty and big data
Big data has made a lasting mark on the beauty industry in recent years, forever changing the way brands and retailers interact with their customers. These days, you can look into a mirror and it will look right back at you, analyze your features, reference your preferences and even read your emotions, thanks to several companies that are innovating in this space. Many beauty franchises generate up to 15% of their revenue from product sales, which means that putting the right product in front of the right customer at the right time is crucial. 1 Thankfully, the beauty retail industry has a tremendous amount of data to work with — all managed and stored in the cloud. This data allows retailers to not only manage and streamline operations, it enables them to meet soaring customer demands for a personalized in-store experience.
A turning point
One such area making big strides in the beauty industry involves point-of-sale (POS) displays. Previously used for aesthetic purposes and strictly offline marketing, these displays were engineered to showcase a brand’s products in an eye-catching and memorable manner, eventually enticing a customer to purchase said products. A recent study found that eight out of 10 marketers rank point-of-sale as the most influential marketing channel for influencing shopper purchasing decisions. 2 Today, brands and retailers have upped the ante when it comes to POS displays, now investing their resources in creating displays that not only broadcast information, but also collect it. For example, UK-based retailer Boots has multiple touch points for its in-store displays that not only give customers information about certain products, while also tracking each products’ popularity and weighting it against inventory data stored in the cloud.
Ready for its close up
Beauty brands and retailers have also integrated video recording and sharing technology in their in-store operations. In partnership with digital imaging software company MemoMi, US-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus recently debuted its Memory Mirror in its beauty department. This “magic mirror” records customers as they are made up by shop assistants, and saves the video for them to watch later. This enables shoppers to reference a personal video tutorial when they use their purchased products themselves. Conversely, the Memory Mirror also helps brands record their each customers’ specific preferences, and determine their most popular products. 3
Augmented reality (AR) now plays a major part in cosmetics brands’ marketing strategies, thanks to its ability to enhance videos and images to give customers a sense of how different products would look on them, without going through all the rigmarole of actually putting on makeup and washing it off. Global cosmetics retailer Sephora has an app with a feature called Virtual Artist, which enables users to “try on” different shades of lipstick and eyeshadow, as well as false eyelashes. 4
While there’s no doubting bid data’s permeation of the beauty industry, it must be considered that all said data must be paired with a reliable and trustworthy cloud storage solutions provider in order to maximize its full potential. Integrating the cloud into infrastructure from the onset will ensure a secure, scalable and agile way to access all that data and leverage it to provide customers with a personalized and engaging way to experience different beauty products.