09 Jun 2021 --- Following its online survey, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider for the beauty industry, Skin Match Technology, uncovers how innovation in beauty technology (tech) is set to disrupt the sector.
BPC Insights caught up with Shauneez Rigney, social media and content manager at Skin Match Technology to find out more about the brand’s inspiration, survey findings and expectations for the future of beauty tech and the wider beauty industry.
What prompted Skin Match Technology to explore where the beauty industry is heading?
As a software provider in the beauty industry, we play an important part in the future by revolutionizing beauty retail today. Beauty tech developments can be seen across beauty brands which is why it is important for us to know our industry and how our solutions can further accommodate future consumers and brands. But also generally, Skin Match Technology is always active and aware in the beauty industry.
Click to EnlargeSkin Match Technology is part of a wave of AI-based tech that is set to disrupt the sector. Source: SMT.How many people and what type of beauty businesses did your online survey go out to?
The survey went out to all types of brand and retail founders and executives including niche brands and prominent people in the beauty industry. Also, some of these brands are our clients like Cos Bar and The Alpha Man and brands that we are just a fan of like Bears With Benefits.
Had you made any predictions before you conducted the online survey and did the results match these?
We always knew that beauty tech and data-driven solutions are something that brands must invest in to grow with their consumers, and we were also always aware of the clean beauty movement, considering our environmental changes.
Those two were a given, but we never would have guessed that the debate of niche brands versus bigger well-known brands was so tight. And what was also shocking, especially since it is advertised by so many, is that beauty brand founders themselves admit that the industry does not do enough for a sustainable future.
What were the key findings of your online survey?
The online survey highlighted three key findings, which were:
1. The beauty market that is set to grow the most is clean beauty.
2. More and more brands are investing in Beauty tech, like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and apps.
3. There is still a lot of work to be done to reach diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.
What standout trends did the survey respondents believe would be increasingly important in the future?
The online survey revealed six core trends, which are:
1. Apps to measure the skin’s healing progress (acne/anti-aging).
2. Augmented reality to test products.
3. Virtual assistants (bots, quiz/tech).
4. Virtual assistants (real people).
5. Wearable beauty tech (sun/pollution detectors).
6. E-Makeup (filters).
What are the main takeaways from the survey in terms of how these can influence brand strategies?
Click to EnlargeAI technology gives consumers the chance to test and try on beauty products. Source: SMT. The results of this survey provide brands with a peek into the future of what other executives and founders are looking into. In turn, this will help them to adjust their strategies to stay relevant and grow with their consumers and keep up with their competitors, which is extremely important.
In the end, consumers determine the trends. But now that brands know that most of them are looking into clean beauty, beauty tech and an omnichannel experience, it is probably worth doing the same to stay competitive. They can also discover niches that other founders and executives determined as underserved markets, like full inclusivity or sustainability.
How will the survey results be used to shape Skin Match Technology?
As we have one product launched already that provides clean beauty and ingredient transparency and an additional one launching next month, we have definitely got confirmation that this is going to help a lot of brands.
A newly emerging topic—mostly related to the pandemic—is the synchronization and merging of online and offline, which can be quite interesting from a data point of view and something we will be looking into.
The power of AI in beauty
Artificial intelligence (AI) gives consumers the ability to test and try-on their sought-after beauty and personal care (BPC) buys. Used both physically and digitally, AI improves facial recognition, helping AI-powered in-store try-on areas such as mirrors or virtual apps identify and analyze different areas of consumers’ faces with accuracy and specificity. By uploading a selfie and undergoing AI analysis, consumers can rely on the technology to inform them of the best recommended products for their skin.
By providing this level of personalization, convenience and accuracy, consumers are likely to gravitate to brands that use AI and consider them successful. Subsequently, this can help drive increasing sales, loyalty and newly-acquired customers through recommendations.
“Better recommendations have been shown to increase the likelihood of purchase, satisfaction and repeat purchasing,” Innova revealed in its Trends Insider: Online Marketing in Beauty in the US report.
By gathering data and sharing information internally, beauty brands, retailers and manufacturers are able to gauge what AI applications will work and which ones will not appeal to their target audiences. As AI becomes more embedded into the digital beauty sphere, the industry will be able to deploy advancing AI for virtual try-on and product recommendation apps.
“Technology, especially artificial intelligence, will play a growing role in online beauty marketing,” reveals Innova in the report.
By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe, BPC Insights Senior Journalist