Beauty tech in demand: COVID-19 pushing Benefit Cosmetics to adopt more AR beauty tools

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Benefit Cosmetics says it is ‘actively exploring’ new digital tools. ©Benefit Cosmetics
Benefit Cosmetics says it is ‘actively exploring’ new digital tools. ©Benefit Cosmetics

Related tags: Lvmh, beauty tech, e-commerce

LVMH-owned Benefit Cosmetics says it is ‘actively exploring’ new digital tools like Augmented Reality (AR) tech to be able to engage and connect with consumers in a post-COVID world.

Since the outbreak, the brand has seen the e-commerce side of its APAC business grow by double-digits.

Cindy Shen, VP of e-commerce and CRM told CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​that the brand has seen some of its highest conversion rates, surpassing even peak holiday selling periods.

This has prompted the cosmetics brand to push out new digital initiatives in order to reach their consumers virtually.

Most recently, it launched the Benefit Brow Try-On Experience program with the help of Taiwan-based beauty tech company, Perfect Corporation embedded in its WeChat mini program.

This tool is an extension of Benefit’s Brow Try-On Experience available on their website and partner online retailers.

It allows online shoppers to find the right eyebrow shape and style, discover products and book brow-shaping appointment.

“With consumers unable to try on products in-store and with a lot of extra time on their ends, our AR experience has been a great way for them to perfect their brow looks both virtually and in real life with their online brow purchases,”​ said Shen.

The brand has seen a surge in the usage of the Brow Try-On experience as mandatory retail closures and stay-home advisories were issued in light of COVID-19.

“We’ve seen a 43% increase in daily usage of our Brow Try-On Experience on our websites between April and May, when people were encouraged to stay home, compared to the first quarter of this year.”

The launch of the program has helped to boost the brand’s brow category, which has been its most-resilient category since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“Brows have been our strongest category post-outbreak, especially as it complements the face mask look,”​ said Shen.

New priorities

Benefit first experience with online interactive tools began in 2016 with its Brow Play Experience, a program with allowed users to try out different brow-shaped stickers on their photos.

“Since then, we took it to a whole new level by launching the next generation Brow Try-On Experience that gives customers the ability to see our products and services on their own faces using facial point detector technology,” ​said Shen.

Moving forward, the company plans to explore more opportunities in the digital arena.

“We think AR tools will become even more important in the customer journey with the shift towards online shopping. We are actively exploring expansion via syndication with our e-retailers, as well as to other categories and platforms,” ​said Shen.

Shen highlighted that there was an urgent need to adopt more digital initiatives moving forward. “COVID-19 has been a huge disruptor at forcing digital transformation at warp speed.”

“Brands and retailers alike adapted and evolved like never before by reimagining customer journeys where digital plays a much larger role, such as with 1:1 virtual consultations, social selling, and more integrated omnichannel features like buying online, pick up in-store.”

She added that being able to adapt to the new normal would be a key driver to growth post-COVID-19.

“We think the brands that can continue to connect with their customers in real and meaningful ways are the ones that will be successful in the long-run – and that’s what we’re focusing on.”

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