Japanese beauty retailer finds a new way to entice shoppers with interactive shop windows

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Japanese beauty retailer finds a new way to entice shoppers with interactive shop windows

Related tags: Retailing, Cosmetics

Japanese colour cosmetics retailer, Ainz & Tulpe has introduced facial recognition shop windows that capture shoppers as they walk by with the latest make-up 'looks' they can then access in their native tongue at discounted prices.

Only 3 per cent of people in Japan can speak a foreign language, which has been a bit of an inconvenience for foreign shoppers in the past.

However, with the government hoping to attract 20 million tourists to the country by the time Toyko hosts the Olympic Games in 2020, more is being done to accommodate non-Japanese shoppers.

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Ainz & Tulpe is one retailer investing in this strategy by teaming up with advertising agency Dentsu and production company Birdman Puzzle to develop this technology that can detect the origin of shoppers and interact with them in Japanese, English, Chinese, Spanish and Russian.

The idea is that everyone has access to make up looks, how-to tips, discounts and other in-store applications. 

Since launching the displays in the front of its Tokyo based store, Ainz & Tulpe reports about 40 per cent more tourists have visited the branch.

Ramping up tourists attractions

Japan's efforts to attract as many tourists as possible also includes the launch of a new mobile app that allows visitors to translate product labels into their own language with the swipe of a phone.

The application will be available to shoppers by the end of 2016, where QR codes or similar tags on products or shelves can be scanned using a smartphone, offering translation in English at first, before extending to Chinese or Korean.

Japan's Ministry has managed to get 55 retail and manufacturing companies across various sectors on board, including Asian cosmetics giant, Kao.

Visitor numbers are rising...

According to Shigeto Kubo, Japan Tourism Agency commissioner; around 18 million foreign passengers visited in 2015, up from 13.41 million last year.

In the first half of the year, the number of Chinese travelers more than doubled from a year earlier to 2.18 million, followed by 1.82 million from South Korea and 1.79 million from Taiwan.

The cosmetics sector and other consumer goods are set to see a big difference in sales growth figures thanks to this surge in visitors.

Japanese cosmetics are already a popular tourist purchase with, for example, over 90% of Chinese tourists buying them.

Alongside this growth, the government hopes to double the number of duty free shops to around 10,000 by encouraging shops outside the major cities to apply for relevant permission.

Related topics: Market Trends, East Asia

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