Virtual try-on technology glams up the beauty industry
The Future. Just a few years ago, shoppers would have to try a handful of shades on their arm to determine what lipstick would look good on them. Now, they can test makeup online and in stores with virtual try-on technology. Empowering shoppers to preview beauty products before buying them could become the foundation of online commerce, as removing the guesswork, store visits, and consultations might increase sales and lower return rates.
Setting things in place
Perfect Corp. has emerged as the dominant player in virtual try-on technology with $130 million in funding from investors like Goldman Sachs, Snap, Alibaba, and Chanel, reports Forbes.
- The seven-year-old company, founded by Alice Chang, has trained its technology on hundreds of millions of shoppers, who have used it for billions of virtual try-ons. Its tech can identify over 90,000 skin tones, which makes it the most inclusive in the industry.
- Perfect Corp.’s client list includes 17 of the world’s 20 largest beauty companies, encompassing over 450 brands, including Estée Lauder, Shiseido, Chanel, and Revlon. Tech giants like Meta, Google, and Snap are also licensing its technology to encourage users to try and buy products within their platforms.
“If you try more, you buy more”
Shoppers love virtual try-on technology as much as the beauty giants who profit from it.
- Clinique says that people using its virtual try-on tool are 2.5 times more likely to make a purchase.
- NARS found that shoppers who use the tool test an average of 27 lipsticks, quadrupling conversion rates.
- After Benefit Cosmetics let shoppers play around with the style of their eyebrows, the number of people who bought a brow product jumped 113%.
- Aveda noticed that traffic to its site’s location finder increased fivefold after shoppers virtually experimented with different hair colors.
It’s the balm
Despite customer privacy concerns and belt-tightening (ahead of a potential recession), Chang expects Perfect Corp.’s sales to hit $100 million by 2024.
She’s also chasing opportunities in plastic surgery and dentistry, where her tech can help people see what they would look like after getting procedures like lip filler or veneers.
“It’s one thing to see a product on a model,” Chang muses, “and another to see it on yourself.”