As many as 74% of beauty shoppers in Australia and New Zealand are overwhelmed by the number of product choices in the market, according to a survey by askbella, a beauty platform that harnesses data and artificial intelligence (AI) to offer personalised skincare recommendations.
Five hundred respondents aged 18 to 65, who had purchased a beauty or skincare product in the past three months, were included.
Among them, 57% like ‘being left alone’ when shopping in stores and 36% would use a virtual assistant to help them select new products.
Findings from a test conducted by askbella last year — using the Facebook Messenger chatbot — further proved that many consumers needed guidance on product research.
“The first place that consumers visit for product recommendations is YouTube videos, influencers, or their friends. But most of the time, they end up buying products that are not suitable for their skin. The products recommended by an influencer may be popular and in trend, but they don’t necessarily fit everyone’s skin type or condition,” said Elaine Yang, founder of askbella.
Based on insights gained from their research, askbella launched an AI-powered, free-to-use tool named Skinalyser® on their website in May this year.
After completing a two-minute quiz on the Skinalyser®, users will be ‘prescribed’ a skincare regime tailored to their individual needs. They will also receive personalised product recommendations and can purchase these products via askbella’s retail partners, such as THE ICONIC and Chemist Warehouse.
Factors that are taken into consideration include skin type and sensitivity, pigmentation level, severity of sun damage, budget, brand preference, and lifestyle.
In addition, askbella account holders can ‘save’ their favourite recommended products and a record of the analysis, and keep track of their skin conditions in different seasons.
Closing an information gap
Although there are close to 1,000 products under askbella’s listing, Yang emphasised that Skinalyser® results are purely based on data, and that users will get unbiased recommendations without having to filter through marketing offers or brand promotions.
“We don’t take commissions by recommending products, which means to say we don’t have an incentive to recommend a certain brand more than another. But we do get a commission when customers buy a product through an affiliated link,” she explained.
To complement the Skinalyser®, askbella recently introduced a digital ‘skinfo hub’ that dispenses free skincare advice, including information on skin problems and product ingredients, to help users better understand their skin needs.
Currently, askbella’s immediate target is to grow its user group, as a larger number of users would significantly improve the accuracy of data and quality of recommendations.
The company is also looking to expand its affiliate partnership with more retailers in Australia and potentially Southeast Asia, as well as extend its offerings beyond skincare.