The future of beauty: how tech is changing the billion dollar cosmetics industry


June 14, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

Personal care and beauty industry is predicted to cross USD $58.3 billion by 2025, according to Beautyworld Middle East’s intelligence partner, Euromonitor International. Propelled by today’s digitally savvy beauty consumers, the adaptation of technology in the market has catapulted, especially in the past year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With an increased awareness of hygiene issues related to physically trying on products, alongside store closures, social-distancing measures and self-quarantines, consumers turned to digital channels for beauty shopping (source: Coresight Research). With this, the beauty and personal care industry have rerouted their strategy to better engage with consumers digitally, complementing their existing marketing strategies.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a drastic change in the landscape and direction of the health and beauty market,” said Abdou Hamad, Sales and Marketing Director for NAZIH Group who will be exhibiting at the 25th edition of Beautyworld Middle East. “We’ve witnessed online beauty coming full circle during the global lockdown and will inevitably continue its boom post-lockdown. The rise in use of social media encourages consumers’ focus and awareness of their appearance,” added Hamad.

The changes in consumer preference has prompted the sector to quickly embrace new technological solutions, including a high level of online interaction, adaptation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

Virtual Product Testing

Though virtual try-on technology has been around for a long time, the industry has seen more adaptors of this feature during the pandemic due to increased hygiene concerns from consumers, with preference to lessening physical contact.

The industry has also seen a wide adoption of voice controlled, touchless screens for consumers to ‘try on’ products in the stores before purchasing. Virtual try-on in the beauty market represents an excellent use case for AR in retail, providing consumers with a convenient and safe way to try or experience beauty products before making a purchase.

Personalised beauty

Beauty products are no longer standardised. With more skin diagnostic tools introduced, the beauty industry has advanced analysis across a variety of metrics, emphasising the rising appeal for hyper-personalised skincare products.

As a way to differentiate themselves from the competition, beauty brands are investing in technology as a way to attract consumers by emphasizing their innovations and expertise.

The use of Artificial Intelligence will help tailor consumers’ specific needs. In a webinar hosted by Beautyworld Middle East focused on Beauty Tech, Sylvain Delteil, Assistant Vice President – Business Development at Perfect Corp, said; “Companies are using AI to analyze the face shape of a customer, then based off that the brand’s makeup artists can propose what fits the customer best and will make recommendations of makeup products tailored for the customer.”

Personalization drives brand loyalty, better connecting with consumers by giving them modified products that they need, proving that beauty isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry.

Virtual Stores and Events

More beauty stores are incorporating VR experiences into their e-commerce bringing physical retail to online shopping, adding a ‘walk through and explore’ product offering in a three-dimensional experience. Additionally, brands keep shoppers engaged through immersive virtual events hosted due to pandemic restrictions, such as game partnerships, online assessments, or even an online shopping showcase.

Industry Relevance

Once considered niche, AI, AR and VR have been gaining great traction with more beauty brands investing in the technology as a part of their wider marketing strategy. Pushing boundaries like never before, incorporating tech in beauty offers consumers and professionals an elevated beauty experience that is customized to their individual needs, smarter in every way, and better for the environment.

The 25th edition of Beautyworld Middle East will feature innovative advances in the beauty industry under a brand-new segment: Beauty Technology. From 5th to 7th October, the Arab world’s largest international beauty and wellness trade fair will be showcasing a new era where AI, big data, AMV (Augmented, Mixed, and Virtual) Reality, are solving customer problems with tailor-made solutions, proving that beauty and technology go hand in hand.

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