Although many people turned to online shopping during the pandemic, physical stores still account for the bulk of revenue for many beauty brands and retailers today, according to Richie Liu, Director of Business Development, APAC of Revieve.
“As global borders reopen and consumption of beauty products picks up speed, these companies are looking for ways to drive customer acquisition and conversion both online and in stores, particularly amid strong competition from e-commerce platforms like Lazada and Shopee, and retailers such as Watsons.
“Different retailers may run similar promotions, so product pricing is no longer the primary factor. Why should consumers buy from your shop or site, and not the many other options out there? The key to wooing consumers is the extra value you provide,” Liu told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.
Revieve, based in Finland, helps retailers and brands offer personalised digital solutions, which identify consumers’ needs and streamline the process of product discovery.
“A brand may have as many as 100 SKUs, and retailers may list thousands of products on their websites. Unlike other beauty tech companies, we do not only provide virtual try-ons and skin analysis. We want to drive hyper-personalisation. We want to leverage technology to narrow down options and make the purchasing process more efficient,” Liu explained.
For skin care brands, Revieve’s solution comprises a combination of questionnaire, skin analysis and recommendations.
“Data on a consumer’s skin type and concerns are obtained via a questionnaire. This is followed by a selfie skin analysis, which is readily accessible, as long as the user has a camera. Several personalised routines are then recommended based on his or her preferences, needs and skin condition.
“Rather than handing out general information, we try to understand what each consumer truly cares about. For example, the skin analysis may indicate wrinkles as a main issue, but the consumer is actually more concerned about pigmentation. In this case, our solution will advise the appropriate next steps to address pigmentation, instead of recommendations that may not be relevant,” said Liu.
In addition, the solution can be tailored to a brand’s requirements. For instance, Revieve worked with Shiseido to launch the Skin Visualizer, a touch-free “smart mirror” that instantly measures the condition of an individual’s skin, which has been deployed in stores across more than 20 countries.
“We provide both the backend technology and the consumer-facing interface. Our web-based solution is compatible with any device and any platform on any operating system. It can be embedded into any website or mobile app.
“It replicates the in-store experience in the digital world. It can also be used in physical shops for consumers who like to shop without being approached by beauty advisors. Our solution aims to give people the confidence to place an order with your shop,” Liu added.
Making headway in APAC
Six years since the firm first ventured into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Revieve now counts three leading retailers in India, namely Health & Glow, Purplle and Myntra, as its clients.
This year, the firm will focus on extending its reach in India as well as establishing a presence in South East Asian (SEA) markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In Liu’s opinion, India is “more advanced” than other APAC markets when it comes to digital transformation and adoption.
“Many companies in India are thinking about incorporating digital experiences in their websites. Also, there are many DTC brands coming up in the country and their only channel is online. Thus, they want to leverage AI technology to better engage with their customers,” he said.
Nevertheless, Liu expects a rise in take-up rate for beauty tech solutions among SEA retailers and brands from 2023 onwards, as the shifts in consumer behaviour become more apparent.