Mobile technology: Built on speed and convenience

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Mobile technology: Built on speed and convenience
Mintel’s Beauty Retailing China 2017 report found that almost 50% of Chinese beauty consumers aged 20-49 used mobile payment when buying beauty or personal care products in the six months to November 2016.

“Mobile payment is becoming commonplace in Asia-Pacific (APAC), particularly in China where beauty retailers like Watsons allow consumers to pay via Alipay or WeChat,”​ shared Delon Wang, Trends Manager, APAC, at Mintel.

Indie and multinational brands are increasingly creating innovation through mobile technology and marketing.

Leading from the front

Launched in 2016, GlamScout is one such app that helps to identify make up shades in any photo. It allows users to find looks from magazines and real life to receive corresponding product recommendations instantly, along with providing the option to virtually apply make up.

Wang also shared insights on another leading brand in the mobile tech space, IMAN Cosmetics. The brand has developed an app that helps to determine consumers’ colours choices by using a patented colour-matching technology that analyses the colour of a user’s eyes, lips, skin and hair. The app then recommends products and looks to match a user’s complexion and personal style.

Perfect Corp, the company behind the successful YouCam app, has teamed up with over 150 global brands including Estee Lauder, Yves Saint Laurent and L’Oréal Paris. Perfect Corp’s technology allows consumers to try on products virtually by transforming the front-facing camera on mobile devices into a virtual mirror.

One bit of advice for brands...

The key word is engagement. Consumers are increasingly connecting and interacting with their preferred brands via their mobiles.

“Mobile technology is moving ahead with penetration happening across Asia-Pacific,”​ highlighted Wang. “Multiple reports show that mobile usage or transactions are exceeding that of PCs and tablets”.

In fact, Mintel’s research report, entitled ‘Digital Trends China 2017’ explored 2,954 internet users aged 20-49 who are digital product owners in March 2017. It found that buying online via a mobile device has not only superseded buying via desktops and laptops, but it has also increased across all categories.

As it knocks down the barrier of formal communication, consumers are enjoying the speed and convenience that direct interaction with brands via mobile brings.

What’s next?

“Facial recognition technology and biometric authentication would one day be imperative in consumers’ engagement with brands and transaction methods,”​ highlighted Wang.

“Consumers, today, are already expecting brands to offer mobile options that are swift and efficient in their response times,”​ Wang went on to say.

China represents a “fast-paced, highly technologically-reliant society”​, and as such, its consumers are fully reliant on the multifunctionality and portability of smartphone technology.

Smartphones, today, come equipped with biometric authentication services that enable consumers to use their mobile phones as a method for identification and even payment.

Alipay, for example, allows shoppers to pay for things using virtual reality (VR) with a nod of their head. With this push towards technology, there is now the opportunity for services that typically run on face-to-face interviews with documentation, such as health, skin or nutrition consultations, to use a mobile device.

Overall, through its ease of use, smartphone usage has been on the up, with 68% of consumers saying they use smartphones more often, making it the “top digital product experiencing increased usage”.

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