Beauty retail has always been a high-touch, consultative, and experiential category heavily reliant on testers, product application, and sampling. In the wake of the pandemic, health, wellness, and hygiene have become a priority. The coronavirus may have upended beauty retail as we knew it; let's be honest—sampling and testers were long overdue for a hygienic overhaul.
Consumers are finally making their way back to physical stores. Foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai reported on July 7 that mall visits in June 2021 were up compared to May and down just 8% compared to June 2019.
The industry is innovating to create touch-free environments. Global fragrance leader Coty announced the rollout within the next 12 months of a digitally enabled touchless fragrance testing device for global beauty retailers. Real-world testing of the units at brick-and-mortar retail stores begins this month in key European markets, followed by a planned trial in Asia later this year.
Coty's touchless fragrance tester is a digital innovation that gives customers the ultimate control over fragrance discovery in-store. While spray testers oversaturate the air, overwhelming the senses and surrounding environment, this device delivers a single droplet of liquid directly to an arm or a blotter, offering customers a less-invasive testing experience. It also captures data that will allow for the optimization of tester placement and staffing of beauty advisors.
Êverie, a French start-up specializing in smart devices, micro-dosing, and diffusion technologies, worked with Coty to bring the touchless fragrance tester to life. A multidisciplinary group from Coty worked alongside Êverie over the past year to develop a connected, easy-to-maintain, and sustainable device. The result is a unit that works for weeks without a battery recharge and reduces unnecessary waste created by traditional testers.
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