2 Min Read |

The connected nature of today’s online world and the millennial consumer has changed the way people shop for beauty and personal care products. The purchasing process is increasingly knowledge based and customisation is the latest buzzword. Today’s discerning consumer makes purchasing decisions around products and services that are specifically tailored to their own unique and personalised requirements.

These developments in customisation mean that generic or mass-produced beauty products are losing traction in today’s connected communities as consumers increasingly access digital technology to research the most suitable product options for their personal needs. There is now instant access to reviews and updates on the efficacy and benefits of most beauty and personal care products and millenials, in particular, are increasingly turning to smart devices and applications to get the full picture of a beauty product and how it can be tailored to their unique requirements.

Sephora: The Digital Trailblazer

According to Euromonitor International, French cosmetics chain store Sephora is the digital trailblazer in the beauty and personal care sector with a range of apps and digital technologies to enhance the beauty experience. The world’s leading cosmetics chain store uses customisation to build brand loyalty. The Sephora to Go app includes a virtual artist tool with step-by-step makeover tutorials which allows customers to ‘try’ a range of cosmetics prior to making a purchase. In store, customers can use the app to scan products and peruse the latest ratings and reviews and loyalty and gift cards can also be saved via the app for easy access.

Sephora got something right and the leading beauty players are watching keenly as they too develop smart diagnostic tools to complement their product offerings.

Trial Before Purchase: Augmented Reality

Most of the major cosmetics companies including Clinique, Estee Lauder, Shiseido and Shu Uemura have an augmented or virtual reality app of some kind. L’Oréal has worked hard to enhance its customised offerings, again using the digital sphere to create personalised beauty experiences and services. MakeUp Genius is L’Oreal’s virtual makeup app which turns a smartphone into a magic mirror allowing consumers to try different cosmetics before purchasing.

Customers want products to suit everything about them from their lifestyle to their skin tone and even their mood. Lancôme’s Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Foundation uses digital technology to create a customised foundation that matches a consumer’s skin tone. While www.findingferdinand.com allows consumers to create their very own lip colour and visitors to www.getmatch.co can create a customised foundation specific to their skin tone and texture.

Elsewhere, aware of how lifestyle and environmental factors can affect the skin, Dermalogica teamed up with global air quality data company BreezoMeter to help track the impact of pollution on the skin. The resulting website www.skinpollution.com allows consumers to preview their skin pollution index based on their location and Dermalogica then offers advice on the best skincare regime to combat the environmental factors surrounding them.

The Future of Customisation

Winning brands must leverage digital technology for continued customer engagement and to build brand loyalty and the technologies must be as intuitive as possible if they are to stand out from the crowd. Within the beauty and personal care sector, it is the apps and smart technology that can identify skin characteristics and then customise beauty products around that data that will gain the most traction. The use of augmented reality and creating immersive beauty experiences will become increasingly sophisticated and this will further drive consumer demand for individualised product formulations within beauty and personal care.

New innovations that will win this competitive game will be those that truly deliver a breakthrough in customising the beauty experience. Tech savvy solutions that can enhance the beauty experience will become synonymous with brand loyalty and in store digital technology is set to become a permanent fixture in cosmetics stores across the globe.

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