Why are virtual worlds the best new way to sell Beauty?

Oct 19, 2023
7 min read

The world of beauty has come a long way since the days when in-store shopping was the primary point of sale. Today, it’s all about winning over the next generation of shoppers and creating an online shopping journey that truly resonates with your audience, wherever they are.

From the growing use of virtual try-ons to the tailored approach of personalized shopping and the conscious choice of eco-friendly, cruelty-free options, the retail industry is truly transforming. This change is fueled by a dedication to putting customers first, enhancing brand perception, and creating lasting impressions in each virtual interaction. In this blog, we’ll explore the advantages of how beauty brands can thrive in the virtual world and how Emperia is actively enabling brands to accomplish these objectives.

Elevate your brand image and personalized experiences

Virtual stores provide a unique platform for makeup brands to amplify their narrative. With captivating visual spaces and interactive elements, brands can share their journey, values, and commitment with customers, whilst simultaneously creating a more personalized user experience.

It might sound surprising, but virtual stores are rewriting the rules of personalized shopping, proving that in-store shopping isn’t the only path to a deep connection with customers. For instance, gamified features that turn shopping into an enjoyable adventure, where customers can earn rewards, solve puzzles, or uncover hidden gems. Loyalty programs further sweeten the deal, allowing shoppers to accumulate perks and exclusive benefits and for brands to get a deeper familiarity with the individual consumer and their personal habits.

A perfect example of a beauty brand that continuously connects with its audience is DIOR. Collaborating with Emperia, Harrods partnered with DIOR to unveil a virtual store, ‘Atelier of Dreams,’. While not only creating a space without location-based restrictions, Harrods were successfully able to converge the physical and digital spaces to reach a wider audience and enable in-store customers to continue their journey at home. This seamlessly intertwines the brand values of Harrods and the luxury beauty powerhouse, fostering a unique and enchanting retail experience.

DIOR’s commitment to personalization shines through with the incorporation of distinctive features in their virtual store, enhancing the shopping journey.  The virtual store’s second floor is reached through a climb up Dior Beauty’s signature tree, leading visitors to the Exclusive Dior Garden, featuring a limited-edition collection of customized cosmetics and perfume products, but customers are also able to schedule a private in-store showing or shopping appointment, further creating a strong bond between the brand’s physical and digital presence. Through encouraging personal tours of the space, brands are enhancing engagement time, and that in turn will improve the brand loyalty.

Further exemplifying their dedication to personalization, DIOR offers a space where users can customize not only the gift packaging but also the products themselves. This includes the option to engrave heartfelt messages on their purchases or add charming accents to their best-selling fragrances.

These interactive features yield numerous advantages for both the brand and its customers. They facilitate a deeper connection between DIOR and its clientele, making the shopping experience more personal and memorable. This kind of interaction not only nurtures customer allegiance but also enhances the brand’s loyalty as a forward-looking and considerate choice when it comes to shopping for beauty products. By creating a customer-centric environment, brands seize the opportunity to exercise their creative freedom, allowing them to deepen their B2C user experience.

Reducing environmental footprints with sustainable beauty options

Sustainability is emerging as a critical focal point for the beauty industry. The projected growth of the health and beauty e-commerce segment is heading to reach approximately 449.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2027, carrying significant implications for eco-friendly shopping options and holding particular relevance for current generations. This statistic highlights the increasing preference for online shopping within the beauty industry, providing a crucial platform for makeup brands to showcase their commitment to sustainability and offer eco-friendly products.

For Millennials and Gen Z, who prioritize environmental consciousness, this presents an opportunity for brands to resonate with their values, fostering brand loyalty and transparency. For instance, An overwhelming 84% of customers indicate that if a brand or company doesn’t follow good environmental practices, they will distance themselves from it. In essence, this growth emphasizes the need for makeup brands to embrace more sustainable options and leverage virtual stores as a means to cater to the environmentally conscious preferences of today’s consumers.

Virtual stores are becoming a green haven for eco-conscious shoppers. Unlike physical stores, they require minimal physical infrastructure, reducing the carbon footprint. Makeup brands can use these digital spaces to highlight their sustainable product lines, cut down on excessive packaging, and educate customers about eco-friendly choices. 

Here are just a few reasons why virtual stores are reducing carbon footprint:

  • Reduced inventory waste: Virtual stores can use data analytics to optimize inventory management, reducing excess product disposal.
  • Fewer printed materials: With digital catalogs and displays, there’s a reduced need for printed brochures and in-store promotional materials.
  • Minimized product testing waste: Virtual stores implement AI technology for features like virtual try-ons and interactive video demos, reducing the need for physical testers and samples that often go to waste.
  • Lower return rates: With these AI-driven features like virtual try-ons and interactive video demos can help customers make more informed purchase decisions. This leads to a decrease in return rates, as shoppers are less likely to buy products that don’t meet their expectations, thereby reducing the environmental impact associated with product returns.

Furthermore, the implementation of virtual try-ons not only enhances sustainability but also drives sales, resulting in a remarkable 90% increase in conversion rates. When customers are content with beauty and personal care selections recommended to them by artificial intelligence, they are more inclined to make immediate purchases of full-size products.

By promoting sustainability, virtual stores empower shoppers to make eco-conscious decisions, reducing return rates, offering convenience and flexibility in online shopping while creating a greener beauty industry future.

Harnessing the potential of virtual try-on technology

Incorporating the potential of virtual try-on technology presents a huge opportunity for makeup brands, providing a mutually beneficial relationship for the brand and its consumers. Considering that 93% of Gen Z users express a keen interest in adopting AR technology for their shopping experiences, the integration of virtual try-on features holds the promise of greatly enriching customer engagement, personalization and overall satisfaction. 

A great example of a makeup giant that’s truly mastered the art of virtual try-on – Fenty Beauty. Fenty Beauty has taken on the challenge to allow consumers to find their perfect makeup-match without the worry of contributing to plastic waste by utilizing virtual try-on features.

This innovative approach of finding the perfect shade makes the user experience so much more enjoyable. Customers can play with various products and shades precisely matched to a live photo, and what’s more, it adapts seamlessly to each individual’s dynamic facial expressions, making the experience incredibly personalized.

By incorporating features of this nature into your online store, you create a platform that encourages meaningful engagement with your customers. At Emperia, we place great importance on fostering these connections. Through our recent partnership with ‘Momenti,’ an immersive media platform renowned for its ‘Multi-touch’ interactive features, brands can now vividly convey how their products appear, feel, and function. This not only enhances the customer experience but also reduces the necessity for brands to produce wasteful product testers.

Maintain relevance and creativity

Beauty brands are consistently discovering innovative methods to connect with their customers that extend beyond the conventional 2D online shopping. With virtual stores there are already so many enjoyable features presented to customers, but there’s so much more to take advantage of. Beauty brands could elevate their space by: 

  • Providing skin analysis tools, recommending tailored skincare routines and products. 
  • Offer real-time customer support through live chat, allowing shoppers to ask questions, seek advice, and receive assistance during their virtual shopping experience. 
  • Develop interactive quizzes that help customers discover their ideal makeup shades, skincare routines, or fragrance profiles, making the shopping journey more personalized.  
  • Incorporate virtual consultations with beauty experts, makeup artists, and skincare specialists.

The list goes on…

Want to learn more about how Emperia can completely transform the way your customers connect with your brand? Get in touch with our team of eCommerce experts today.

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