Digital Dive: Top stories on digital developments making waves in the APAC beauty industry

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Top five stories on the digital developments and beauty tech in the cosmetics industry [Getty Images]
Top five stories on the digital developments and beauty tech in the cosmetics industry [Getty Images]

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In this round-up of the top five stories on the digital developments and beauty tech in the cosmetics industry, we feature Picky’s acquisition by B2LiNK, Shopee’s insight into the future beauty e-commerce, and more.

1 – Pick of the bunch: B2LiNK acquisition of Picky crucial for ‘long-term sustainability’, says CEO

K-beauty brand aggregator B2LiNK’s acquisition of beauty application Picky is crucial for the firm’s long-term growth as it aims to become the “number one global digital skin care community”, says its CEO.

Picky is a beauty web and mobile application that enables consumers to discover the most suitable beauty brands and products for them through user reviews, educational content and expert contributions.

The US-incorporated company launched the app in April 2020 and has since built a community base of more than 250,000 global users.

B2B K-beauty distributor, B2LiNK, has acquired the firm for an undisclosed amount.

2 – Online phenomenon: Why beauty brands can expect e-commerce boom to continue in 2022 – Shopee

Premiumisation, improved augmented reality services, greater sampling opportunities and the growing popularity of e-commerce outside of Asia’s major cities can propel online sales growth across the beauty category​ in 2022, says Singapore-based site Shopee.

The Singapore-based company believes e-commerce has become part of consumers’ and lifestyle and expects the online shopping habit to continue long after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, it has observed its shopping campaigns like its 3.3 and 4.4 Mega Shopping Day Sales doing well consistently over the whole year.

“We have successfully managed to inculcate some habits with our consumers. They understand the cadence and have integrated Shopee into their lives. That’s really the first phenomenon that will stay beyond COVID,” ​said Terence Pang, chief operating officer of Shopee during the Shopee Brand Summit held on January 13.

3 – Social selling: Yatsen sees Douyin channel as ‘very important factor’ for brand growth

Douyin is becoming an increasingly important channel for Chinese cosmetics firm Yatsen Holdings, which is seeing promising sales growth for brands​ like Perfect Diary on the video-sharing platform.

The Chinese firm is a leading player in China's cosmetics market and owns multiple brands including Perfect Diary, Pink Bear, DR.WU and Eve Lom.

The company, which has previously broken records on Tmall, has been observing a sales decline on the Chinese e-commerce platform, which accounted of 40% of the company’s sales.

Conversely, Yatsen is seeing an increase on Douyin, the short-form video-sharing app known and sister to Tiktok.

4 – Experience-first beauty: A.S. Watson bolsters engagement with AI-powered skin advisor tool

Retail major A.S. Watson has grown digital beauty engagement across Superdrug and ICI PARIS XL with an AI-powered skin advisor tool​ co-developed with Finnish beauty tech firm Revieve – an innovation it plans to roll out across Asia next year.

The online ‘skin advisor’ tool used Revieve’s proprietary computer vision technology and mobile skin diagnostics to analyse 120+ skin metrics from a user’s face that were then analysed by several algorithms to offer “personalised, in-depth skin analysis and product recommendations”.

Beauty consumers simply took a selfie and answered specific questions about their skin type and personal skin concerns to receive advice – improving the customer experience and helping shoppers find the right products, according to Dan Jarvis, chief digital officer for Europe at A.S. Watson Group.

The retail major was using the technology as part of its O+O [Offline plus Online] strategy.

5 – P&G files patent on ‘smart’ hair grooming device

Personal care major Procter & Gamble (P&G) has developed a hair grooming device​ that analyses the time, speed and force of brushing, collecting and storing data to communicate with its user.

Writing in its international patent​, P&G said the grooming device integrated a series of light-sensitive proximity sensors and force-sensitive resistors that analysed the contact time, speed and brushing force during use. The device then compiled and filtered this data to communicate to the user, providing usage instructions via the device itself or through a separate connected mobile device. P&G said the invention could be designed as a bristled hairbrush or toothed comb.

“In practice, the hair grooming device (…) alone or in combination with the apparatus [external processor] can be utilised to collect and filter data during a hair grooming event involving a person’s hair,”​ P&G wrote in the patent filing.

Importantly, it said the data could be processed and analysed to indicate the “condition of a person’s hair during a hair grooming event”​. 

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