Cosmetic design last month Beauty 4.0 – Technology, gadgets and future trendsA webinar, moderated by CosmeticsDesign-Europe Editor, Casey Collini, brought together an impressive group of CEOs from Sephora, Shiseido, Orveon, Mintel, and The Virtual Events Group, to brainstorm the future direction of beauty technology.
We’ve captured some of the key themes from this discussion to compile seven predictions for how the beauty technology space will evolve in the next five years.
prediction number 1 metaverse to transcend fun experiences
As the fashion industry continued to pioneer engagement with the metaverse, panelists were unanimous that beauty could, and had begun, play in this space as well.
Japanese cosmetics Shiseido, for example, was already dipping a toe in metaverse. Juliana Chu, the company’s vice president of e-commerce and digital, told how US-based Nars Cosmetics launched its Color Quest on Roblox in July, inspired by the brand’s Blush, Lagune, and Light Reflecting product franchises.
Presently, Chu said that Shiseido’s involvement in metaphysics has remained at a level “nascent”Stage, in line with the industry as a whole.
“I think that since everyone is in such a nascent stage, testing, learning, and demonstrating some success is the way to go,” She said. “We see it as a way to recruit customers, build brand awareness and engage consumers.”
With this in mind, she stressed the importance of managing shareholder expectations that money invested in metaverse projects will not generate sales immediately. “It is important to set both sales and non-sales related KPIs,” She said.
Robin Raskin, founder of The Virtual Events Group, endorsed this “test and learn” approach to metaverse, saying: “I think the decisions that companies like yours make not to jump in too long but to carry out pockets of experimentation are the right ones.”
For now, Raskin said, the best way for brands to use the metaverse is with fun sharing. She cited the example of Estée Lauder offering free glow-enhancing NFTs to their Decentraland avatars. “It was fun, easy to do and free” She said.
However, panelists agreed that the next few years will see the metaverse evolve in a way that it can be used with more impact than just consumer engagement and excitement.
“I think the metaverse is going to move very quickly to be a part of our daily lives and it’s going to be fluid,”Raskin said.
Andrew McDougall, Associate Director of Global Beauty and Personal Care at Mintel added: “I think the metaverse has its limits now. It’s a Nintendo 64 game played in the PS5 universe. However, the upcoming developments are going to be interesting.”
Prediction #2 Community building will be key
As brands have moved beyond interaction in the metaverse solely with the goal of creating enjoyable consumer experiences, success will depend, to some extent, on building communities within this space, according to McDougall.
“The metaverse might be useless and confusing, but when you look at the games, Roblox and Minecraft are two of the most popular games in the world even though they are not the most aesthetically advanced. What they have after the fun and the fun is community. How do we build community in metaverses?” That becomes important. How do we build a community around technology in general? That goes beyond fun,” He said.
Salima Popatia, Chief Digital Officer at Orvion, owner of the prestigious brand, captured his view on the growing importance of building communities, saying: “I think that’s the key in beauty technology. Women love to talk about beauty. It’s a conductor and it’s so important to create those communities around the brand. How do you bring these experiences together and give them a space where they can share together? I think that’s all there is to it” .
Popatia argued that the idea of creating communities was not a new concept – it was re-enacted in a different space and using different techniques.
“When I go back to the early days of my career before influencers, there were forums to discuss launching collections; it was incredibly powerful. I think consumers feel that need. It’s a call for a brand in a very loyal way – what more could a brand want than that? ?”
Zhou also endorsed the importance of community building, saying: “It really is very simple. Beauty is a word-of-mouth industry. If beauty technology can enable that, why not do it more? Community building is really an essential component of our industry.”
Prediction #3 Virtual Influencers will take charge of Celebrity Influencers
Shiseido became one of the first beauty brands to experiment with computer-generated influencers, according to Cho. “We’ve seen the trend of the virtual effect take off, so we thought, why not try it? You never know if it’s going to take you somewhere unless you try it.”.“
She explained: “Instead of having a real person livestream and annotate the product on Instagram, we are using a virtual effect. There is more to come and we are just trying it.”
In parallel with the hypothetical influencer trend, Raskin predicted that celebrity beauty endorsements would become less important going forward.
This matched the thinking of WGSN chief beauty forecaster who recently described virtual influencers as Super innovative spaceEspecially when consumers started to ignore traditional influencer models.
Prediction #4 Technology will help transparency
Committee members agreed that there is untapped value being extracted from NFTs that serve as certificates of ownership and credibility in the metaverse.
“You can track the supply chain journey of a product with a smart contract. I can see the industry is relying on that more and more to see if the products are sustainable and compliant with the law,”Raskin said.
McDougall’s view was that in the future, the focus would shift from sustainability to transparency and that in pursuit of this goal, the beauty industry would benefit more from data associated with NFTs.
“I think transparency will be the next buzzword for beauty after sustainability. Transparency is something that technology can offer to supply chains. Ledgers can be used to track components and supply chains. With blockchain, you cannot change the data that is entered and NFTs are a certificate of authenticity. There are many It’s a lot of different areas that technology can play in – other than being a fun and engaging element” He said.
Prediction #5 VR will take over VR first
Right now, McDougall said, brands are approaching the metaverse as a way to recreate the real world. However, he expected this view to be turned on its head as the assumption first became the new norm.
“The first default would be the next step; Nike is working with Artefact to create trainers in the metaverse that you can buy in the real world, for example,”He said.
“To be successful, this two-way relationship has to evolve much more,”he added.
The first assumption was part of a much broader trend that will see brand campaigns increasingly intertwine with the real and virtual world.
“We are seeing greater fluidity between the real world and the virtual world – a brand may send consumers NFTs they can redeem in-store for a real product. This creates this loyalty program that is both powerful and fun” Raskin noted.
#6 Beauty tech experiences will be seamless
As technology becomes softer and more complex, panelists said there will be no excuses for disruptive consumer experiences, and the smoothness needed to bypass online and offline touchpoints.
“We want to make sure that every interaction is meaningful, purposeful, and pleasing to the consumer — and that these experiences are connected so that the consumer feels these traits in a very seamless way whether it’s in-store, online or over the phone,”Bopatia said, of Orveon’s beauty technology strategy.
Chu agreed: “If the consumer does not see the technology, that is the best kind of experience. It has to be behind the scenes.”
Advances in technology have already helped brands deliver this seamlessness across different platforms, she said, giving the example of Perfect Corp (in which Shiseido holds a minority stake) whose virtual experience technology ensures shade consistency across any device or platform.
The drive for seamless has also been applied in the retail context as well, as Alia Joji, President of Sephora Asia explains: “I think the consumer experience has to be very consistent across all touch points and those touch points have to be seamlessly connected. It’s about talking to the consumer in a comprehensive way. I think that’s going to be how cosmetic retailers will evolve five years from now.”
Diagnostic Technology #7 will integrate skin health and beauty
At Singapore’s first ‘store of the future’, Sephora was providing skincare recommendations with its Skincredible – a dermatologist-grade skin analyzer.
In the future, McDougall said, the use of wearables is likely to extend to diagnosing skin health problems, blurring the line between beauty and health.
Raskin expands on this point: “Beauty and skin health just got more solid and this introduces a whole new suite of wearables to analyze everything from skin hydration to pores, moles, and SPF levels.”
There is a huge opportunity for cosmetic technology to partner with neighboring technologies in the field of diagnostics, in the same way that DNA testing techniques have been combined with personalized diet recommendations in the field of nutrition, Chu said.
“By integrating cosmetic technology with neighboring technologies, the definition of cosmetic technology can become much broader,”She said.
Beauty 4.0 – Technology, gadgets and future trends
Interested in learning more about what our experts have to say about the future of beauty technology? The webinar is still available to watch in full On request here. Watching is free, you just need to register.
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