The hair, beauty and cosmetics industries are becoming increasingly technology-driven, with customisation and personalisation being a new luxury that’s starting to be offered by big brands. So, today we consider the latest tech trends giving the beauty industry a makeover for 2020.
Technology is enhancing how we live our lives in pretty much every aspect, including the hair, beauty and cosmetics products and services that are available to us. It also is highly beneficial for beauty businesses too, with them using everything from augmented reality (AR) to artificial intelligence (AI) to engage customers in a competitive market and provide a more personalised, tailor-made experience.
Many of the biggest names in the beauty industry are giving a nod to technology. Let’s take Unilever, for example, with its Tinder-like idea-swipe app and L'Oréal and ModiFace’s diagnostic tool that allows customers to ‘try on’ make up. It’s not just the main players investing in AI, AR and digital platforms. There are also a tonne of new start-ups using the digital age’s futuristic shift to attract customers and give the industry leaders a run for their money. The face of today’s £410 billion industry is changing drastically, but what can we expect this year and into the future?
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Tech trends innovating hair, beauty and cosmetics businesses
1. Personalisation and AI
For many of us, finding the perfect shade of foundation is a big challenge.
50 percent of women complain that they can't find the right shade of foundation for their face, and women with darker skin tones have been crying out for more choice – Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L'Oreal's Technology Incubator.
As it simply isn’t possible to have thousands of shades available on make-up counters, L'Oreal subsidiary Lancôme has developed a custom-made foundation machine, the Le Teint Particulier that can find you the “exact match” using AI.
A Lancôme consultant will start off working out your facial skin tone with a handheld colorimeter (digital scanner), then the results are run through a computer that chooses one of the 20,000 different shades. They are then sent to a machine that mixes the foundation there and then in the shop.
The demand for personalised cosmetics is on the rise. Half of consumers are fond of trying a beauty product that is personalised for them and a third think such products give better results. This is one of the most significant trends to consider when strategising for your own beauty business.
2. Smart skincare
Many consumers are turning to smart skincare tools to rate their skin. Smart mirrors can take a photo of your face and scan for wrinkles, pores, fine lines, red spots and brightness levels. After rating each of these factors from “good” to “poor”, it will send you tips and recommendations of products to try. This could prove lucrative for cosmetics businesses that form partnerships with smart mirror companies like HiMirror.
3. Personalised skincare platforms
Named after the famous London medical destination, Get Harley is one of the main personalised skincare platforms in the UK. It pairs consumers with medical practitioners to provide personalised skincare prescriptions that can be delivered to your door. Customers can have an online video consultation with a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon or aesthetic doctor who will advise them on a regimen based on their skin and goals.
Consumers are also more likely to seek the expert advice of qualified practitioners, given the normalisation of ‘tweakments’, with almost half of UK adults agreeing that non-invasive procedures are now a normal part of people’s beauty and grooming routines – Irina Ene, Beauty Innovation Coverage Manage.
4. AR and product try-on
When deciding which cosmetic products we want to purchase, we want to be sure that it will achieve our beauty goals. With make-up, we usually do this by ‘swatching’ or applying it to our skin. But AR has made it possible for consumers to try on different products with their smartphones, and has shaped our future shopping habits. Virtual Artist is an app created by Sephora and AR company ModiFace that scans your face and lets you try on thousands of different products and looks.
It’s safe to say that more beauty businesses will soon start using AR to enhance customer experience.
"At the heart of it, the beauty industry is a business of personal advice and technology is just enabling this. So, what you see from tutorials to targeted content, augmented reality, or even personalisation of products – all enabled by digitalisation – has really been an accelerator for the industry." – Celine Pannuti, Head of European Consumer Goods Research, J.P. Morgan
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5. Salon scheduling software
Lots of hair businesses are using advanced scheduling software to keep them ahead of the game. By using this, you can see future and past appointments, search for them by client name, create and send text and email confirmations and reminders, and rebook an appointment. But it’s also so much more than simply scheduling appointments; it also lets you manage clients and track inventory. By using breakthrough apps like MyCuts, you can increase client retention and referrals, easily control inventory and spend more time focusing on your clients.
Make the most of tech trends for your hair, beauty or cosmetics business
2019 was a big year for beauty tech, with many large beauty businesses making their first tech acquisitions after an industry-wide push towards offering customised products and experiences to customers. But 2020 looks even more promising and we can’t wait to see how these and future tech trends will innovate the hair, beauty and cosmetics industries even further. Keep these in mind when starting your own business in the sector so you can survive in a competitive market.
Check out another one of our articles, Top 6 hair, beauty and cosmetics trends of 2020, to find out how else the lucrative industry is evolving. Or find out the latest tech trends innovating your sports, fitness or gym franchise.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©