Personalised shopping: POND’S sees more interest for skin care offerings after launching AI chatbot on Shopee

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

POND's Skincare Advisor Live (SAL) on Shopee ©Shopee
POND's Skincare Advisor Live (SAL) on Shopee ©Shopee

Related tags: shopee, Unilever, Skin care, AI, personalised beauty

Unilever skin care brand POND’S says interest in its products on South East Asian e-commerce platform Shopee soared, after launching its Skin Advisor Live (SAL) AI chatbot.

SAL is an AI-powered beauty tech solution providing a personalised online shopping experience.

Shoppers first submit a selfie on a chatbot on Shopee and then given a free skin analysis through SAL. They will be recommended skin care products from POND’S according to their skin type.

Ian Ho, Shopee’s regional managing director told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​: “People who interacted with SAL saw close to two times better conversion than those who did not use the SAL regionally​.”

SAL has been rolled across Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam since early December.

POND’S SAL AI chatbot will be exclusive to Shopee for six months in the e-commerce space. Last year, SAL was launched on Facebook Messenger across nine countries.

The feature generated more than 15 times higher purchase intent as compared to its current landing site, and consumers were spending up to three times more time on SAL. In addition, 98% of users cited positive ratings with SAL.

On Shopee, around 95% of users who completed the SAL experience enjoyed the personalised shopping experience.

POND’S is hopeful that it can find the same success on Shopee, as one of South East Asia’s biggest e-commerce platform with a strong health and beauty category.

Selfie to skin care

Shoppers can access the SAL AI chatbot through Unilever’s flagship store page on Shopee, under the chat function.

They proceed to send a selfie, and while the analysis is generating (usually takes about one minute), beauty tips are shared within the chat to keep users engaged.

Once the analysis is completed, users will be notified of their skin analysis and skin condition within the chat.

The chatbot will follow through with some POND’S product recommendations based on the user’s skin need.

According to Candice Lim, POND’S global brand manager, the range of products will include cleansers, serums, moisturisers and creams from POND’S skin care series.

The analysis will also categorised into a morning or night skin care routine recommendation to make it easier for the user to adopt the skin care routine into the daily lifestyle.

However, shoppers can choose not to purchase from the list if they prefer.

SAL provides a solution for consumers who rely on trial and error to find the best products for their skin, and for those who were often overwhelmed with beauty choices online.

Once the session has ended, users will be prompted to review the service through a feedback form which will be shared with POND’S to help improve the SAL technology further.

All users are also required to indicate consent for the collection and sharing of their uploaded selfies to the SAL chatbot for skin analysis, however Shopee does not collect and store any personal information from users.

The service was first rolled out in the four South East Asian markets, which were selected due to “stronger POND’S market presence​,” according to Lim.

Lim said it is exploring to roll out the chatbot on Shopee’s other markets.

While we do not have an estimated timeframe for rolling out the chatbot in the other markets, we are definitely thinking about expanding such beauty tech solutions to our users in other markets​.”

Personalised beauty

Ho explained that personalised recommendations to shoppers helped to increase overall awareness and conversions through offering more customised shopping suggestions and promotions. “This not only connects shoppers with the things they need, but also becomes an important avenue for product discovery online.​”

For Unilever, which first opened its flagship store on Shopee Mall in 2015, e-commerce is a strategic focus.

Unilever’s skincare category grew more than 400% year-on-year through e-commerce in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Beauty of online

According to Ho, the health and beauty category on Shopee, which includes skin care, cosmetics and personal care products is one of the platform’s top performing category.

He attributes this to more people starting to prioritise self-care.

In particular, premium beauty brands have exceeded the growth of mass beauty beauty brands on the site.

Recently, the firm launched Shopee Premium​ focusing on authentic premium products, selling items from over 20 beauty brands such as Sulwhasoo, Shiseido, and L’Occitane.

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