Younger beauty buyers frequently prefer to use digital channels to search for product information, but they are also reluctant to lose the human touch that comes from talking to a sales assistant – and marketers need to resolve this, an industry figure says.

Spending in this category continues to rise and brands are looking for new and innovative ways to meet this demand. Tailored personal marketing and products are being heralded as the future solution, and beauty tech is seeking to be at the forefront of this evolution, according to Tariq Khan, VP of Customer Experience at Coty Inc., which houses international brands including Max Factor, Rimmel and Cover Girl.

Writing exclusively for WARC, Khan says there is “vast potential” in this area and explores what manifestation of personalised beauty tech will actually appeal to customers. (For more details, read the full article: How the beauty industry is getting personal with technology.)

Key to the progress made so far is the spread of the smartphone, which has enabled brands to develop things like AR to allow people to try and see the visual effects of different products without going through the effort of trying each product on.

“The next frontier” he argues, “is in fine-tuning what we have and making it personable and palatable to a new breed of shopper, to create technology that liberates rather than constrains customers, to give options to make people feel great in whatever way they choose.”

That is likely to mean, for example, the use of AI that will give recommendations for products after collecting data on a consumer’s specific features and/or preferences.

Impressive as these innovations are, they bring a new set of challenges for both marketers and consumer. One worry is that the long-term effects of machine learning as applied to beauty tech may lead to the standardisation of beauty.

Another, more immediately pressing concern is how marketers are storing and using all the data collected on customers using beauty technology.

“If one beauty company suffers a breach there will be an understandable distrust for all future beauty technology,” Khan says. “Hence there is a shared responsibility to ensure that the privacy of customers is continually protected.”

Sourced from WARC