The rapidly evolving retail landscape is already becoming less about smartphones and screens, moving instead into an era of total immersion – driven by the fast pace of technology and how readily we, as consumers, adopt new behaviours.

Technology is not only dramatically transforming consumers’ relationship with commerce, but also expanding offerings in lifestyle sectors. In beauty, consumers are turning to augmented reality (AR) to enrich the shopping experience, speaking to smart mirrors for advice and getting hyper-personalised product recommendations thanks to skin scanners.

According to a 2018 survey by GlobalData, 38% of consumers said they were often or always influenced by “how digitally advanced or ‘smart’ a product is when making their beauty and grooming purchases.”

1. The augmented self

“Augmented reality is becoming key for product and brand discovery, and purchase,” says Lubomira Rochet, L’Oréal’s chief digital officer. “We are at that magical moment when technologies have matured enough and consumer appetite for using them is growing everywhere.” L’Oréal acquired AR beauty company ModiFace in 2018 and the beauty giant has since been on a mission to take AR beauty to the masses, collaborating with Facebook and Amazon to allow consumers to try on makeup virtually before buying.