L’Oreal is partnering with Facebook toroll out virtual tests for shoppers, allowing users try on virtual makeupsamples through augmented reality (AR), and aiming to drive more sales onlineand through social media networks.
The brand said the partnership will startwith makeup line NYX, Urban Decay, Lancome and Yves Saint Laurent.
The collaboration follows L’Orealacquisition of Canadian AR and AI tech specialist ModiFace in March. ModiFace’ssoftware allows consumers transform a 3D image of their face in real time asthey virtually try on different kinds of lipstick, blush and eyeshadow.
Customers will eventually be able to tryon anything from foundation shades to eyebrow shapes and hues, said LubomiraRochet, L’Oreal’s chief digital officer.
She added that the virtual tests helpedthe company clinch sales.“What we’ve seen on our sites is that when there is avirtual test facility, conversion rates increase significantly.”
Cosmetics firms including L’Oreal’s rivalEstee Lauder and retailers like LVMH’s Sephora are investing heavily intechnology, in an age of selfies and beauty bloggers that has helped shift theindustry onto the web.
Rochet said, social media networks hadbecome the biggest growth driver of web sales for L’Oreal in terms ofattracting shopping traffic, though purchases are redirected to take place onbrands’ own sites or third party online retailers.
The brand said e-commerce revenuesreached 9.5% of all its sales in the first half of 2018, up from close to 5%three years ago.
Rochet expected the virtual testingtechnology should eventually be rolled out on Facebook’s photo-sharingnetworking site Instagram. While Facebook is blocked in China, a particularlyimportant e-commerce market for the brand, Rochet said L’Oreal was also talkingto other partners about similar deals, without naming them.
Facebook said it had begun testing AR inadvertising as of July, with Sephora and brands like fashion group MichaelKors.
Edited by Sharon Kwok