Exclusive Interview

How to Harness Data to Increase ROI in Beauty?

By NaTasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

How to Harness Data to Increase ROI in Beauty?
Following Beauty Matching Engine’s latest event, designed to bring together a community of beauty innovators, we caught up with the beauty prediction platform to find out more about the connection between beauty and data.

What are the five top ways that brands can harness data to increase return on investment (ROI) in beauty?

1. Inject data in a machine learning model and use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict what a customer is most likely to buy based on user persona. It is not just a conversational decision tree, bot or selfie-driven recommendation. The beauty specific data driven solution works for every beauty category from hair to skin care to makeup and allows the brands and retailers to continuously optimise and improve their conversion rates and also the shopping experience for their customers. For beauty, AI alone does not work, so you need a mix of data driven machine learning and beauty intelligence.

2. Use data to personalise upsells and cross-sells and product recommendations online, in-store and email. No one is currently doing this in beauty across every category and only Beauty Matching Engine will be able to power this for them.

3. Use data on their customers to personalise the omnichannel shopping experience. For instance, if someone has eczema, you don't want to send them an email about beauty products only catered to dry skin, it has to be related to eczema. People shop on a problem solving basis or for replenishment and this is what increases loyalty.

4. Use data on their customers to personalise better programmatic ads

5. Use data on their customers to create more relevant marketing assets

  • How is the relationship between the beauty world and data evolving in 2019?

There is a lot of talk about it which is a great start but there is still so much to be done and can be done. Beauty is far behind fashion and travel which is a shame as it is one of the biggest markets in the world, valued at $805 billion (€717.6 billion) by Reuters.

The constraints are that bigger companies find it hard to adapt quickly to use data. Smaller companies do not always know what to do with it. Companies of all sizes also do not have the know-how to increase sales using data as this is a field that requires expertise from Data scientists and AI engineers which is still very very new.

However the good thing is that there is a demand for it and fashion has led the way — and we will be seeing this next in beauty too.

  • What further insights came out in discussions during your recent event?
  1. It emerged that email marketing does not work if it is not customised.
  2.  It is difficult to keep track of customers who are browsing online and don't know what to buy and then retarget them.
  3. Retailers have too much data and they don't know where to start and what to do with it. Brands have too little data.
  4. Personalising in-house is very hard to do so they want to outsource it.
  5. Digital heads are asked to innovate, innovate, innovate, yet the approval process of any new idea can be very slow and they don't have the budget or time to develop it in-house.
  • What do you think is the future of beauty and data?

People are going to shop more based on looks or problem solving and therefore the customer experience is going to have to change to reflect this to improve the customer's shopping journey.

Retailers and brands are going to look at solutions which are more specific to beauty so they can collect the correct type of insights and data on their customers and be able to use it in the right way to increase sales through personalisation and also predictability. 

Customer loyalty seems to be the growing challenge so without being able to understand customers, brands and retailers have no choice but to adapt by using data driven approaches at each touchpoint.

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