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Ulta Has Been Investing In Tech To Deliver Deeper Personalization

Beauty retailer Ulta Beauty is investing in personalization. It has invested in Iterate, a digital workflow company, and Spruce, an online booking platform. It has also acquired QM Scientific and GlamST, two companies to support its augmented reality and artificial intelligence efforts. Ulta said that it may acquire more companies but doesn’t see M&A as a big part of its strategy. As well as personalization, Ulta is also keen to increase the number of digitally native brands it sells, and it aims to better segment and target consumers. Its personalization plans will be supported by the 30 million members of loyalty program, who contribute 95 percent of its sales. 

"Ulta Beauty Makes First Acquisitions, Hones Personalization Experience", Women’s Wear Daily, November 08, 2018

L’Oréal Introduces The My Skin Track UV Device From La Roche-Posay

L’Oréal has announced the launch of La Roche-Posay My Skin Track UV, a battery-free wearable device to track the skin’s exposure to UV. It’s available in the US on apple.com and in some Apple Stores. The device was unveiled earlier this year at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show and includes a companion app that also measures environmental factors such as pollution, pollen and humidity. The sensor is powered by the user’s smartphone. And clips on to clothing or other accessories. It costs $59.95.

"L'Oréal Launches La Roche-Posay My Skin Track UV--The First Battery-Free Wearable Sun Safety Sensor--In The U.S.", PRNewswire , November 14, 2018

Perfect Corp. Founder Talks About YouCam And Its Place In Beauty 3.0

Founder and CEO of Perfect Corp., Alice Chang, spoke at the CEW Connected Consumer Conference about ‘Beauty 3.0’, the company’s name for what it sees as the future of beauty. It will, she says, combine more personalized and proactive tech involving human touch characteristics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The result will be an extremely accurate virtual try-on experience. Perfect Corp. and its YouCam apps are now used by some 200 beauty brands and 700 million users. The company also encourages users to try YouCam’s set of virtual apps, free of charge, to enable them to test their features.

"YouCam Introduces ‘Beauty 3.0’, Redefining AI & AR Innovation to Create a Personalized, Proactive Consumer Beauty Journey", Business Wire, November 14, 2018

Nars Cosmetics Is Seeking To Capture Consumer Data And Use More Beauty Tech In 2019

Shiseido brand Nars Cosmetics is trying to balance the needs of those looking for human interaction in beauty shopping and others that like the speed and convenience of direct-to-consumer e-commerce. ‘Clienteling’ is a key focus, and it wants its sales associates and makeup artists to collect consumer data when they speak to them, and encourage them to use the data to make the experience more personal for the shopper. The brand sees 2019 as a big tech year for the company, with trials of virtual try-ons and artificial intelligence applications, such as for skin tone data. 

"Nars’ Lord Talks Beauty Tech, Makeup Artists and More", Women’s Wear Daily, November 15, 2018

COVERGIRL Unveils Its Flagship Store In New York’s Times Square

The end of November saw the opening of the COVERGIRL TIMES SQUARE flagship store, the brand’s first permanent outlet. It’s on two levels and offers shoppers a virtual greeter, called Olivia, who can give beauty advice or direct you to a product you want. There are also Holition augmented reality stations for virtually try-ons, a customization station for customers to personalize products, and a makeup and advisory service from COVERGIRL BFFs (Brow Friends Forever). 

"COVERGIRL Opens Times Square Flagship Store", BUSINESS WIRE , November 19, 2018

A Facebook Chatbot Is Driving Traffic And Sales For Wander Beauty

Wander Beauty says that half of its sales are via its e-commerce site, with mobile the main driver. The high-end brand is expanding its online communication with consumers by using a Facebook chatbot. It asks customers six questions and the answers are used for product recommendations chosen by a customer service team. In the four months since it was launched, 17 percent of customers engaged with the chatbot and bought something, well above the industry average. Around 70 percent of its e-commerce traffic is coming from mobile and the chatbot within Facebook Messenger is helping to promote dialog between the brand and customers on the move. 

"How Wander Beauty is using a chatbot to increase sales", Glossy, November 21, 2018

AI And Other Tech Are Finding Homes In Beauty Brands And Retailers

Beauty brands are embracing artificial intelligence in order to better appeal to consumers. Clinique is launching a free app called Clinical Reality, which recommends products on the basis of user selfies and answers to a questionnaire. The app is scheduled to be launched at the start of 2019, and will later in the year also include a virtual try-on feature. The app follows other similar platforms, such as that sold by ModiFace. L’Oréal acquired ModiFace earlier this year, Shiseido acquired US startup MatchCo last year, and Neutrogena unveiled its Skin360 skin scanning device almost a year ago. Beauty tech is also emerging in physical stores, with Sephora installing 3D augmented reality mirrors from ModiFace. The trend addresses research findings from Deloitte that by 2025 one third of women will buy personalized products

"How artificial intelligence will boost these beauty brands’ bottom line", MarketWatch , November 23, 2018

Meitu And Secoo Team Up To Grow The Beauty App

Meitu, a company offering a range of image and video apps, including for the beauty industry, has agreed a strategic partnership with Secoo, a luxury online marketplace in China. Secoo TryTry will control various aspects of the Meitu’s beauty app, including promotions, sales and customer service, as well as supply chain operations. The Meitu app uses facial recognition and machine learning, together with an artificial intelligence skin testing platform. The two partners aim to establish a platform for consumers, merchants and services. The deal is an extension of an previous arrangement between the two.

"Secoo partners with Meitu for new beauty app", Business Chief, November 24, 2018

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.