The beauty industry has always been at the whim of external forces such as celebrity influences and underground trends. However, a new force is now at play that is changing the beauty industry forever: advanced technology.
The biggest beauty brands are investing in technological innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), to create a more robust offering for their consumers that keeps them at the cutting edge in the hyper-competitive beauty space.
One example of this can be seen with AI being used to find the perfect foundation match for customers while they are shopping with Lancome, a L’Oreal subsidiary, in-store. Lancome’s custom-made foundation machine, Le Teint Particulier, finds individuals their perfect match by first digitally scanning their face, and then running the results through a computer, which sends these results to a machine that mixes the perfect foundation for your facial skin tone.
Innovations such as this are no longer simply a novelty, but rather another consumer expectation. As a result of this, a lack of investment in the latest innovations could be damaging to your business both now, and in the future.
So, why exactly should your beauty business invest in tech-savvy talent?
The three primary reasons why your beauty business should consider investing in tech-savvy talent are:
- The way consumers discover products is changing
- Technology is changing how consumers shop
- To prepare for a technology-first future
The way consumers discover products is changing
Gone are the days where a consumer discovered products solely through brick and mortar stores, or even the days when consumers would give products a quick google for extra information before making their decision. Of course, both of these are still relevant, but they’re just not the whole story any more.
Today’s modern audience is far more digitally focused and seeks to discover beauty brands and products through their social media channels, such as Instagram and YouTube, first and foremost. This digital focus can be seen reflected in how some of the biggest beauty brands are now allocating their media spend – for example, L’Oreal now allocates 30% of its media spend to digital channels.
Technology is also helping beauty brands to stay ahead of the curve by helping them to stay on top of the latest trends, and anticipate changes.
Some of the biggest brands are using AI to connect with their consumers, and forecast the biggest market trends through social media observation. This is incredibly important in the modern beauty landscape, as big beauty trends are no longer dictated by brands, but rather by the consumer.
Suzy Ross, senior advisor at Accenture, comments that “consumers are looking for a fully interactive experience with their cosmetics brands becoming part of their lifestyle”. This means that consumer relationships with beauty brands are becoming more multifaceted than ever before, and expectations are high. To fail to meet these expectations could spell disaster for your beauty business, which is why it is imperative that you seek out leaders who have in-depth technical experience in the beauty space who can find ways to get your products in front of consumers on digital platforms.
Technology is changing how consumers shop
Consumers are not only discovering their beauty products in new and more advanced ways, but they’re also having an entirely different shopping experience, as well as using technology to help them to decide whether or not certain products are right for them.
An example of this can be seen with virtual “try on” apps. These apps make use of augmented reality to enhance the buying experience by allowing the user to “try on” different shades of foundation, lipstick, eyeshadow, and more without ever having to spend a penny or leave their front room – revolutionary!
Sephora’s “try on” app – Virtual Artist – tracks the facial features of users, allowing for accurate virtual makeup application, and has the added benefit of makeup tutorials. Since the app’s launch in 2016, Sephora claims that over 200 million shades have been tried on – an incredibly impressive number that reflects the resonance of the app with their customers.
As consumers are exposed to more and more ways that they can discover beauty products through technology, without having to trial samples or visit a store, it becomes something that they expect to be able to do before making a buying decision. Without these options, your brand may be missing out on building valuable trust with consumers, not to mention their business.
For your business to avoid this, it is crucial that you adjust your talent management strategy to seek tech-savvy leaders in the beauty world, who have the knowledge your business needs to expand its technical offering and meet growing consumer expectations.
To prepare for a technology first future
It’s clear that we’re headed towards a future where technology plays a very prominent role in all areas of the beauty industry. This reaches not only into consumer experience, but also product research and development, and will determine whether or not your beauty business stays competitive, or falls behind and loses market share to more forward-thinking brands.
By investing in leaders who have industry experience in technological innovation, and a history of driving success through technology on an organisational scale, you can rest easy knowing that you are equipping your business with the individuals you need to take your business into the future and keep your business profitable.
Here at Goodall Brazier, our specialist talent management experts have years of experience in the beauty industry, and have spent years developing contacts and relationships with some of the most significant industry thought leaders across the globe.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your beauty business with an effective, technology-led, talent management strategy.