According to a report by Statista, in 2021, approximately 4,000 new beauty products were launched in the United States alone. While exciting for consumers, the sheer volume of new brand and product launches has also left them overwhelmed. Psychologist Barry Schwartz's classic study on the paradox of choice shows that while an abundance of options seems desirable, ultimately, it leads to decision paralysis and dissatisfaction.
Today's consumer is connected but distracted, bombarded by choice, with an average attention span of eight seconds. Beauty brands and retailers have leveraged education and personalization to capture and keep consumers' attention. Staying on top of new technology creates a competitive edge for early adopters leaning into innovation. Here are four new beauty tech tools that caught our attention.
Haut.AI SkinGPT: The European AI start-up is pioneering image-based analytics for skin and hair, creating a toolbox for AI-powered beauty industry solutions and pioneering personalization and beauty intelligence. The newest launch is SkinGPT, a generative AI skincare and skin modeling tool that allows users to see the future of their skin.
Users upload photos and apply AI to simulate how their skin will change over time when using certain skincare products. It's similar to a virtual try-on for makeup, but with photorealistic simulations and scientific backing. Beauty brands and retailers can implement the tool into their e-commerce interfaces to educate consumers about the changes skin might undergo if using (or not using) certain products. Haut.AI’s product-specific technology uses simulations based on a given product's clinical claims to ensure accuracy.
The tool also helps raise awareness of the adverse effects of environmental factors, allergens, and pollution on the body, which can influence long-term skin health. SkinGPT helps visualize the impact over months and years to project different trajectories of the skin’s future and the long-term benefits of personalized product usage.
AVA by Obsess: The technology company powers over 200 brands in the virtual shopping environment. Two years in development, this new, dynamic self-serve tool helps brands and retailers build and manage immersive 3D virtual storefronts. As virtual stores become an always-on, year-round sales channel for brands, they require easy-to-use, accessible tools for dynamic merchandising and store management.
Obsess founder and CEO Neha Singh shared, “Much like Shopify revolutionized e-commerce for small businesses by providing them with traditional DIY storefront capabilities, AVA is now enabling brands to build and manage their own next-generation, immersive 3D virtual storefronts, dynamically changing merchandising, content and styling as needed throughout the year.”
AVA by Obsess enables brand teams to create and optimize their branded virtual experiences faster. Once AVA users upload a standard 3D media file into the CMS, Obsess’s patented rendering technology converts it into a proprietary, web-compatible format for large-scale 3D environments. Brands can also easily integrate SKU-level data and product imagery from their e-commerce stores and dynamically place products throughout the virtual store environment. Clickable content hotspots showcasing immersive offerings like in-scene videos, games, educational content, social media integrations, and avatars can also be quickly added.
Landing International x ClearForMe: In a new partnership, the two companies will integrate technologies providing a more robust tool for brands and retailers to educate beauty's frontline. Founders Sarah Chung Park and Sabrina Noorani say the partnership reflects their companies’ shared mission to help beauty customers discover and support brands aligned with their mutual values.
Since 2013, Landing International’s BeautyFluent is a rewards-based training app that helps brands reach and educate beauty advisors working at retail. Supporting growth at retail is an expensive proposition. This app levels the playing field for small brands that have historically underperformed in stores due to limited training budgets.
The inclusion of ClearForMe's clickable technology and database of over 1.8 million ingredients will allow beauty advisors to discover products by searching for ingredients on the BeautyFluent app. The collaboration empowers beauty advisors with ingredient-based education and the tools to deliver on conscious consumers' demand for transparency and information on trending ingredients. Brick-and-mortar defensibility requires the same level of knowledge that beauty shoppers can access online. The competitive edge is delivering it with a human touch.
Hue: Consumers want to see themselves in brand marketing. This AI-powered SaaS platform provides brands and retailers with a one-stop, customizable solution for integrating user-generated content (UGC) across marketing channels. Hue’s technology matches shoppers to their Hue Twins―a community of real people who share the same skin tone, skin type, purchase history, or beauty preferences. The technology allows customers to filter content and view honest reviews from people who look like them. Hue Twins provide expert-verified foundational data that fuels the algorithm, contributing to a robust dataset. As the community grows and more customers shop with Hue, the algorithm will get smarter over time as it learns what products and shades work best for each person's unique complexion. The company claims the technology leads to a 10% increase in conversion and 127% increase in time spent on site resulting in a 5-10X ROI.
Hue was created with the beauty consumer in mind launching in 2022, backed by $2 million in seed funding and early adopting beauty businesses, including Lawless Beauty and Credo Beauty and Exa Beauty, which have integrated the shoppable UGC technology.
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