Meitu boosts Chinese augmented reality drive

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Meitu boosts Chinese augmented reality drive

Related tags: Cosmetics

Chinese mobile internet company, Meitu, has tapped into the growing technological trend by installing its virtual counter cosmetics experience via its MakeupPlus app.

Virtual lip colour

‘Try before you buy’ is an appealing concept that is fuelling beauty sales through supporting both the use of innovative augmented reality technologies and customisable cosmetics.

Through its MakeupPlus app, Meitu’s counter feature launch enables users to access hundreds of lip products from popular names including Glamglow, Lime Crime and Charlotte Tilbury. A roll-out period will continue over the coming months to build interest.

Utilising the Chinese brand’s own artificial intelligence-based facial recognition with augmented reality technology, users can virtually try on lip shades from their smartphone camera and complete the buying process through the MakeupPlus app.

Topping trends

Lip care is the leading and fastest growing colour cosmetics segment in China​. With the nation targeting its activities towards virtual and augmented reality techniques through mobile commerce, Meitu’s innovation combines three dominant trends in the marketplace. 

In real time, users get a convenient, fun, practical and hygienic method of trying on lip products before committing to buying items.

"Meitu consistently pushes the boundaries of possibilities when applying AR and facial recognition technology to the world of beauty,"​ said Frank Fu, Managing Director of Meitu's global operations.

Engagement, sensory and experiential shopping are high on brands’ strategies. Consumers are looking for new and innovative ways to explore colour cosmetics and skin care items, while brands strive to build loyal and supportive followers.

"The technology in Counter offers brands the ability to engage with shoppers – allowing them to experience the product from anywhere, at any time,”​ emphasised Fu.

Immersive cosmetic shopping

Japanese label, Clé de Peau Beauté, is opening new stores with sensory appeal at the centre of its architectural design and campaign creation. 

Beauty digital eco-systems that incorporate virtual try-on, augmented reality filters, content exploration, trend spotting, makeup tutorials and m-commerce are increasing in frequency.

"Counter solves a number of issues many people experience when searching for new lip products. Over a third of our users report that they are less likely to experiment with lip colour products compared to eye shadow, blush, and other elements of their make up looks,”​ said Liz Goodno, Director of Global Public Relations at Meitu.

As “for many, it's not hygienic, easy or practical to experiment with lip products in-store",​ added Goodno, Chinese names are turning to virtual and augmented reality to demonstrate how make up options will appear without having to physically try on items.

China’s technological drive

Alternative realities have been tipped for market explosion this year, and China is a key market. Removing hassles, increasing enjoyment and promoting escapism are core reasons for the increase in this trend.

In February 2017, YouCam announced the release of its digital virtual beauty app that gives shoppers over 30 products to choose from​. Launching the new platform in its flagship Shanghai store, Meitu successfully bridges the gap between brick-and-mortar consumers and online experiences. 

Chatbots, for example, that communicate directly with customers and offer beauty guidance and advice​, are helping consumers’ decision-making process.

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