Beauty tech and all things digital just might be moving faster than beauty product innovation itself. For instance, it was only April when Cosmetics Design covered news of Amazon’s newly launched Indie Beauty Shop, the Apple credit card, in-app purchasing in Instagram, and other digital developments in this article: 5 digital beauty retail developments that just changed everything. Here, Cosmetic Design looks at even more evidence that for beauty tech it’s full speed ahead.
Youtube added AR tech
Last week the Google-owned video-sharing website added augmented reality (AR). Aaron Luber, head of branded experiences, AR, and [virtual reality] VR, at Google, last week Tuesday on the company’s blog, wrote “Today, we’re introducing AR Beauty Try-On, which lets viewers virtually try on makeup while following along with YouTube creators to get tips, product reviews, and more. Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, it offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones.”
Estée Lauder Companies’ color cosmetics brand MAC is the first to take advantage of this new tech opportunity on YouTube. In partnership with Google’s branded content platform FameBit, MAC Cosmetics is running influencer campaigns that let viewers try on the same lipstick shades as they are watching their favorite content creator try the lipsticks on.
The tech, which earlier tests found that 30% of YouTube beauty viewers used, is formally in Alpha and will “be available to brands and advertisers this summer,” according to Luber’s blog post, adding, “We think [it will] help brands and advertisers make content more engaging, educational, and ultimately effective in driving purchase decisions.”
Amazon added a pro beauty shop
On Monday, Amazon launched a new online shop: Amazon Professional Beauty Store. It’s a site where hair dressers, barbers, estheticians, nail techs, and similar licensed professionals can buy products they need to do their jobs. The new offering is meant to address the needs of independent beauty professionals who don’t have the advantage of wholesale purchasing power or the time for real-time price comparisons across brick-and-mortar beauty supply stores.
Steve Kann, director of customer driven experience at Amazon Business, is quoted in this week’s Amazon blog post about the new Professional Beauty Store as saying, “Stylists can find more of what they need at great prices with convenient delivery options, freeing up their time to focus on what's important: their customers.” And of course, the company is “pleased to offer those in the professional beauty industry even more selection through the convenient shopping experience our customers love on Amazon Business,” as Kann notes.
The ecommerce shop requires customers to upload their license to be eligible to buy product; though site visitors can browse the site without doing so. Amazon promises “low prices, and fast, free shipping in one to two days on eligible orders with Business Prime.” The shop currently sells product from Wella Color Charm, RUSK, OPI Professional, Schwarzkopf, Redken, CND, FootLogix, Olaplex, Biolage, and “other beauty supplies typically found in salons and spas.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.