We use our own and third-party cookies to optimize your experience on this site, including to maintain user sessions. Without these cookies our site will not function well. If you continue browsing our site we take that to mean that you understand and accept how we use the cookies. If you wish to decline our cookies we will redirect you to Google.
Already have an account? Sign in.

 Remember Me | Forgot Your Password?

This is a general newsletter - click here to create something specific to your interests

Search criteria:
  • Ready-to-go newsletters on topics you choose, in your template
  • We prepare the content for you
  • You review, edit and click Send. Easy!
Read more about SmartNews360
  • A competitive intelligence leader for 20 years
  • Helping top corporations with research and analysis
  • From quick projects to ongoing support and outsourced services
Read more about Business360
Period: February 15, 2018 to June 1, 2018
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Coty Magic Mirror Is World's First Blended Reality Makeup Try-On Service

Coty seeks to provide the "next generation" of personal consumer experience with its new Magic Mirror, which combines virtual reality and physical products in a blended reality makeup try-on service. The new technology was unveiled during the relaunch of Coty's Borjois Paris boutique. Shoppers can pick a makeup product and watch the Magic Mirror "apply" it to their reflection. Visitors can use the Magic Mirror with lipsticks, eye makeup, and brushes that the Mirror "matches" with their skin tones thanks to computer vision and augmented reality technology. Magic Mirror can also take selfies of customers with the virtual makeup, which it can then e-mail to its users or print in-store.

"Coty Introduces Blended Reality Beauty Magic Mirror Powered by Physical Products", Coty, April 20, 2018

Clairol, Snapchat Makes Hair Color Try-On Tech For Shoppers

Clairol is using Snapchat’s shoppable augmented reality platform, Lens, to allow users to “try-on” the brand’s Color Crave hair color products. The lenses will run through June 30, and users can also share and buy the products from the app. Clairol, a Coty brand, said the initiative is part of its effort to merge beauty and technology by creating a seamless shopping experience that bridges the gap between content and commerce.

"Clairol, Snapchat join forces to make shopping easy", Drug Store News, May 02, 2018

Toothpaste Inventor Comes Back After 100 Years In AR App

The Dr. Sheffield’s Naturals brand its launching its first direct-to-consumer brand in modern times. The launch of Dr. Sheffield's Naturals Toothpaste, from Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, includes the Sheffield AR app, which allows users to see company founder, Dr. Washington W. Sheffield, via augmented reality when they are stood next to the packaging on store shelves in chains including CVS and Bed Bath & Beyond. The range is free of sweeteners, flavors, artificial colors, foaming agents and flouride. The brand claims that Sheffield was the first to sell a crème dentifrice instead of tooth powder.

"Technology That Brings to Life a 168-Year-Old Legend? There's an App for That", PRNewswire, May 03, 2018

Walgreens Unveils Online Skin Care Advisor Tool For Acne-Prone People

To help customers determine the appropriate skin care regimen to treat acne, US beauty and personal care retailer Walgreens has launched an online skin care analysis tool called SkinID. The tool, hosted on Walgreens' website, utilizes Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.'s SkinID technology and evaluates customers' skincare needs through a series of questions about their skin types and acne breakout experiences. It then recommends a personalized, three-step daily routine of cleansing, treatment, and moisturizing using products from Walgreens' pool of skin care brands. Walgreens’ Beauty Enthusiast club members can save their results on their online profiles. The tool is also available in select Walgreens stores.

"Walgreens Launches Online Skincare Advisor SkinID™ to Provide Acne Sufferers with Personalized Skincare Regimens", Business Wire, May 03, 2018

Study Concludes Brands Should Use Original Digital Video To Connect With Millennials

According to a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau report, brands should use original digital video (ODV) to engage with the more diverse and technology-aware younger consumers. The report also says that ODV viewers report higher levels of brand engagement and have a stronger affinity and awareness off some of the new direct-to-consumer brands, like Birchbox and Bonobos. Almost half of ODV viewers are “Brand Seekers”, who are more receptive to new brands and see the benefit in ads.

"Original digital video connects brands with young, diverse, techie consumers", Agility PR Solutions, May 07, 2018

Panera Rolls Out Delivery Program Nationwide

Panera Bread is expanding its food delivery service nationally to 897 cities and 43 states via the Panera app or website. The company said its products will be available for lunch and dinner to officers, hospitals, college campuses and, in participating markets, to homes.According to CEO Blaine Hurst, "Delivery is fueling our next phase of growth.”Panera is using its own delivery drivers in the expansion – it has hired 10,000 so far – and says it has already created 13,000 jobs. Digital sales at Panera comprise online, app and kiosk orders and represent 30 percent of total company sales. Deliveries are possible with orders as small as $5 menu purchase plus tax and a $3 delivery fee in most markets. The company operates 2,076 bakery-cafes in 46 states and in Ontario, Canada.

"Panera Bread Unveils National Delivery Service", GlobeNewswire, May 08, 2018

Billie Unveils New Campaign To Help Customers See "Magic In The Mundane"

US-based direct-to-consumer female personal care brand Billie launched its "Magic in the Mundane" campaign, inspired by a user comment on the firm's Instagram page. The brand offers a subscription service for razors, shaving cream and lotion, as well as other body care products for women. Co-founder Georgina Gooley said the new campaign aims to celebrate women and their everyday routines and follows its #RethinkPink message, which tackles the issue of a pink tax on women's products, during the brand launch in November. Billie recently completed a $6 million seed funding round which will help it expand its team and boost its inventory.

"Making Mundane Magic: 5 Questions With Billie Co-Founder Georgina Gooley", Brandchannel, May 08, 2018

Skincare In 2018: A Focus On Natural and DIY Beauty

A number of consumer trends are driving innovation in beauty, including demand for natural products, as well as personalization and customization. Brands and retailers are offering consumers the opportunity to mix their own products, and with a more natural ingredient list. Follain, an online beauty retailer, offers a personalized skincare regimen. Beauty brand LOLI Beauty focuses on ingredient transparency and education. Ktchn Apothecary, a skincare brand, Oleum Vera and Brandless all sell DIY beauty kits that allow consumers to mix ingredients to create their own products at home. 

"How Brands Are Delivering DIY Beauty", PSFK, May 09, 2018

New Dior Backstage Line Gives Glimpse Into Makeup Secrets

Dior claims its new line, Backstage, is easy-to-use and basic cosmetics, and gives women, particularly Millennials, a glimpse into professional makeup secrets. It is to be launched in late May on Dior.com in France and the Middle East, before a rollout in those markets in stores. It will be available on the Dior site in other European markets from June 1, with a broader online rollout, including Asia, the US and Canada, from mid-June. It is a 40-product range of face and body products that appear to be in the same space as Kylie Cosmetics and Fenty Beauty, which are also positioned to appeal to Millennials.

"EXCLUSIVE: Dior Backstage Makeup Line Set to Launch", Women’s Wear Daily, May 10, 2018

China A Focus For Automated Store Innovation

China has become the focus for companies looking to automate the physical shopping experience. Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com have all opened automated stores in the last few months, at the start of what they believe will be a large-scale rollout of personnel-free shops. The Chinese consumer's openness to high tech and willingness to try something new is expected to drive unprecedented growth of the retail industry in China as the country's 724 million mobile phone users increasingly accept mobile transactions. Improving internet connectivity and smartphone penetration are expected to boost sales even further, and retailers are also having to deal with labor pressures due to an aging population and the trend of millennials leaving retail to seek higher-paid work.

"Why Unmanned Stores Are About To Take Off In China's Retail Market", Forbes.com, May 14, 2018

eSalon Expands Distribution Beyond The Direct Channel

Hair color brand eSalon is expanding beyond the direct-to-consumer channel by introducing its products on the QVC home shopping channel and in 1,500 CVS stores. The rationale is new customer acquisition, according to CEO and co-founder, Francisco Giminez. The brand used to rely on paid promotion on social media, but Giminez believes that a move into mass retail could double the 15,000 new customers it currently acquires each month. The company has been growing fast and recently relocated to a new and larger headquarters in in El Segundo, Calif., which includes office space and production facilities. 

"D2C Hair Color Brand eSalon Moves Into Retail", Women’s Wear Daily, May 17, 2018

Kroger Taps Ocado Robot Warehouses In US To Combat Amazon

U.S. supermarket chain Kroger is partnering with U.K. Internet supermarket Ocado to build around 20 automated warehouses or “sheds” to improve its home delivery service after Amazon's recent buyout of Whole Foods shook up the retail industry. Ocado’s robot tech to process and pack orders is expected to give Kroger an advantage over Amazon. The move is in response to Amazon’s expected transformation of existing Whole Foods stores into a grocery delivery network using gig workers. However, experts believe Amazon is still looking at other options since it still operates mostly human-staffed warehouses for its Fresh grocery delivery service.

"Kroger inks Ocado grocery delivery deal to battle Amazon threat", Reuters, May 17, 2018

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Israel’s Coca-Cola Bottler Targets Online Retailer Selling Lookalike Cola

Super-Sol, Israel’s biggest supermarket chain, has been selling a cheaper private-label brand of cola whose packaging resembles Coca-Cola’s. To counter that tactic, Coke’s bottler in the country, Central Bottling Company, has acquired a 25 percent stake in BringBring, a new online food retailer. Though the founders and majority owners of BringBring say Coca-Cola’s investment does not amount to a declaration of war against Super-Sol, it does represent a major challenge to Super-Sol, which controls 70 percent of the online grocery market. BringBring promises grocery deliveries within four hours of ordering with no charge for orders over $56. It’s a big improvement over Super-Sol’s service, which promises only same-day service and charges $8 for orders less than $207.

"Coca Cola Israel to Battle With Israel's Largest Supermarket Chain With New Online Retailer", Haaretz, May 01, 2018

Market News  

Traditional Retailers Fine It Necessary To Partner With Amazon

Retailers with an offline heritage are choosing to explore partnerships with the one retailer they fear, Amazon. Sears and Amazon have agreed that shoppers that buy tires on Amazon can be delivered to and fitted at Sears Auto Centers. Kohl’s is running a pilot in Chicago and Los Angeles to take Amazon returns and has made space to sell Amazon products. Other companies trying out deals with Amazon include Best Buy and Chicos. Although early signs are encouraging, previous tie-ups between Amazon and other retailers, including Toys R Us and Borders, proved unsuccessful. There are clear pros and cons: an alliance with the fast-growing internet retailer should help boost the retailers’ sales, for example, but some believe it might also make them even more vulnerable to Amazon.    

"Retailers bring the wolf, Amazon, into the henhouse", Chicago Tribune, May 11, 2018


Cosmetic Giants Turn To AR Tech To Lure Customers

Some of the biggest names in the cosmetic industry are seeing the value of augmented reality (AR) to boost customer reach and improve sales. MAC Cosmetics used AR to develop a mirror to show customers how they would look with makeup. According to the firm, this will help avoid "buyer's remorse" when shopping for makeup. Benefit Cosmetics launched a mobile app called Brow Try-On, which helps customers visualize their face with different eyebrow shapes and sizes. The app also has a tutorial that features Benefit products.

"Why AR Access Is Important for Retailers", Exchange Wire, May 01, 2018

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.