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Beauty Tech: Augmented reality applications take center stage in brands’ multi-channel strategies

The purchase of ModiFace by L’Oréal shows the growing prevalence Augmented Reality and digital technologies are taking in the Beauty industry. The YouCam suite of applications developed by the Taiwanese Company Perfect Corp, has established itself as the world reference in virtual reality makeup and beauty technology. In addition to its selfie beautifying functions, the suite now offers an array of beauty apps, ranging from makeup to skincare and hair coloring. With the development of these new features, the suite has also become a unique platform serving the multi-channel strategy of cosmetic brands.

Sylvain Delteil, PerfectCorp

Sylvain Delteil, PerfectCorp

The gone through road in just a few years is impressive! YouCam’s photo editing and virtual reality suite of applications (YouCam Makeup, YouCam Perfect, YouCam Fun and YouCam Nails) has established itself as the global leader in virtual reality makeup, with more than 550 million downloads [1] and collaborations with the biggest names in beauty: Estée Lauder, Yves Saint Laurent, L’Oréal Paris, MAC Cosmetics or Macy’s, to name a few.

"Last year, we signed a global framework agreement with the L’Oréal Group, which allows all of the Group’s brands to use the Youcam MakeUp app," explains Sylvain Delteil, Director Business Development of Business Corp.

A resounding success, enabling Perfect Corp, the Taiwanese Company that develops the apps, to raise more than US$ 25 million last October 2017. It cannot be denied that the Company has given itself the means to succeed. The spin-off of Cyberlink, a Company specializing in digital imaging, could rely from its inception, on a team of about 100 developers.

YouCam and similar non-specialized platforms (Perfect 365 or, more particularly in China, Meitoo) have thus almost overridden proprietary apps developed by brands, by imposing an ongoing pace of innovation. After having made inroads in skincare, YouCam recently added an extension dedicated to hair colouring to its suite. But most of all, these platforms are now increasingly becoming essential tools to support multichannel strategies.

"At first we operated as a mobile platform for consumers and very quickly, at the request of brands and retailers, we started developing in-store applications. Today we are developing ourselves as a service platform dedicated to brands," continues Sylvain Delteil. "Augmented reality is a convincing tool to win over consumers and facilitate sales, but we are now also offering a Full Service multichannel marketing management."

In practical terms, once the SKUs are loaded on the steering console, made available to them, brands can use them as they wish: YouCam Makeup application, virtual tests on in-store terminals, or even for their own websites or mobiles. Custom developed services can even be added to the platform, especially for the training of sales forces. The console also aggregates all the data collected by the applications on consumer behaviors: number of likes for the brand, number of tests done per SKU, and most of all, data on the saved and/or shared looks.

"The list of solutions currently available to brands is actually quite impressive: YouCam Makeup, in Store Brand Makeup & Skincare Consultation Mode, Exclusive Online Consultation Mode, Webpage Consultation Mode, Beauty Live Training, Live Streaming for Brands, In Store Barcode Try on, and so on," explains Sylvain Delteil.

Brands can therefore rely on various and efficient tools to test their product in a user-friendly and fun way, train their consultants remotely, or educate their consumers. "This involves investing a little in some human resources, but then the brand has access to a multiservice platform designed from the outset to meet all the needs of a multi-channel strategy."

In a nutshell, Perfect Corp promises effective results. "A study we commissioned in Japan [2] with a panel of 25,000 smartphone users showed that YouCam Makeup users are 60% more likely than standard users to buy makeup products. For brands, being present on the app increases by 30% their sales opportunities," concludes Sylvain Delteil.

Vincent Gallon

Footnotes

[1350 million for the YouCam Makeup app alone, 90% of which are women and 81% millennials

[2Study conducted by Intage with a panel of 25,000 smartphone users aged 15 to 60 in Japan from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017 (year on year).

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