Beauty brands are rushing to add apps as a ploy to allow shoppers to experiment with beauty more often, while also eliminating the need for consumers to return products because of disappointment in shades. If a brand doesn’t have an app now, it probably will this year.
(To view the full Beauty Trends Report, click here.)
L’Oréal kicked off the trend two years ago with Makeup Genius, but many others have been quick on its heels.
The latest is e.l.f. in conjunction with YouCam. E.l.f. Cosmetics is the first mass market brand to launch on YouCam, a beauty app offering virtual makeup application with more than 300 million downloads.
YouCam features about 50 e.l.f. SKUs on its platform, highlighted by three e.l.f.-curated holiday looks, the brainchild of e.l.f.’s makeup artist Achelle, which will be extended quarterly.
The debut also represents the first time YouCam is offering “shoppable” looks. “You can buy as you are trying on, [which has been available], but for the first time you can shop the entire look and purchase right from there,” said Mara McCune, VP of marketing for e.l.f.
“We believe our consumer is increasingly connected. She gets her information and is influenced by bloggers and what she sees online. We see virtual beauty as a way to influence her shopping decision and a natural extension of our mission of making luxurious beauty accessible,” McCune said.
Also new in the app store is Clairol’s MyShade, an app that not only allows women to see how a shade will look, but also offers consultation to personalize the choice. “We hope to turn the [hair color] category around by putting expert advice in the palm of women’s hands,” said Heather Carruthers, VP of Clairol Global and U.S. marketing. “What we’ve done is take the daunting task of choosing hair color and make it simple. MyShade is designed to bring the expertise of our color experts to the customer in a few simple steps.”
Carruthers said women tend to spend as much as 10 minutes in hair color aisles, twice the time they devote to other hair care products, but only 50% of those women actually make a purchase. “We are trying to get more women to color their hair by removing the biggest fears — getting it wrong or ruining their natural color. It’s empowering.”
MyShade has a broad menu of options, including the choice to click and see a new trend, such as the merger of Red and Bronze for a color called Ronze. Users can share their images of the fresh hair hues on social media channels.
“The Clairol app offers the ability to virtually try-on a hair color, which is of extreme importance to consumers, since hair coloration is usually a big commitment,” said Parham Aarabi, CEO of ModiFace, the company behind many of the new apps. “The MyShade app brings two interesting features to the market, including an [artificial intelligence]-based hair adviser that guides a user as to what shade is best for them, and a universal shade-scanning technology built into the adviser that helps them try on any permanent home hair color,” Aarabi said.
The scanner works with any hair color box, even from competitors, and suggests a shade from the Clairol range.
Carruthers said the app reduces the risk of getting it wrong through a series of questions, such as, “what is your gray level?” to prescribe a personalized solution. The app features ModiFace’s patented hair coloration and shade-matching technology to accurately depict hair color. It starts from the hair color in the photo for a realistic result. There’s also the opportunity to call or e-mail an expert from MyShade.
Retailers said they expect to see more apps roll out this year, especially since millennials like to experiment. Apps allow that without actual applications and washing off the looks each time. The apps also offer the capability to take selfies to share with friends for feedback.
From brows to lashes and lips, color cosmetic sales are trending up
From the hot color segments to new product launches, here is what you need to know about the beauty business in 2017.
(To view the full Beauty Trends Report, click here.)
Mass market color cosmetics sales continue to climb, driven primarily by adventurous millennials.
For the sixth continuous time period, the most explosive expansion is coming from eyebrow makeup. For the 52-week period ended Oct. 30 across multi-outlets, as measured by IRI, the sector’s dollar volume soared more than 34%.
To that end, chains are rushing to add more brow entries while building out brow departments. Maybelline’s Eyestudio Brow makeup showed sales gains of more than 142%, while its EyeStudio Brow Drama contributed another almost 40% increase. Milani burst into the category with its Stay Put Eyebrow Makeup, which is up more than 250%.
CVS is the exclusive mass merchant source for Wunderbrow brow gel, a one-step solution allowing women to easily fill, define and shape their eyebrows with natural-looking color in under two minutes. Wunderbrow achieved fame on the Internet, and is hitting CVS stores in five shades, priced at $22.
The focus on eyes is helping women discover the beauty of artificial lashes. Kiss Products unveiled new product innovations for 2017 designed to keep the momentum.
“We want to be category drivers,” said Annette DeVita-Goldstein, SVP of global marketing at Kiss Products. According to IRI, Kiss’s eyelash adhesives and artificial eyelashes both churned out sales increases exceeding 50% for the most recently tracked 52-week period.
“We have our ear to the ground for beauty trends,” DeVita-Goldstein explained, adding the company noticed celebrities and beauty icons were wearing mink artificial lashes to achieve a fluffy and luxurious look.
With a goal of making non-fur options that would be lighter and more affordable, the Kiss team created Lash Couture, Faux Mink Collection. New technology with a knotless lash band was implemented to create a natural, layered look. The lashes, which mimic the look of mink without using real fur, are sold in six lash styles retailing for $5.99. The lashes are reusable up to 10 times.
“Lashes are instantly transformational,” said DeVita-Goldstein, who believes the advantages of the faux mink will attract more users to the false eyelash category. To complement the new lashes, Kiss also rolled out a new strip lash adhesive that is strong but gentle, thanks to the infusion of biotin and blueberry extract.
A new lash app is expected to help women virtually “see” lashes before applying. Salon Perfect, which is exclusive at Walmart, now can be tried on an app from Perfect365. Ardell lashes will be added to the app in the next month.
“Easy application is absolutely one of the biggest obstacles concerning false lashes today, and has been for decades. Many women buy the lashes, but either end up having a professional apply them or they don’t use them at all,” explained Vickie Wei, director of marketing for Perfect365. “The nature of eyelashes and how they are sold makes it almost impossible to try them on before purchasing them. Most users purchase a number of ‘wrong’ lashes before finding their perfect pair.” Wei said eyelash-related enhancements are a $1 billion-plus category that will benefit from the further education provided by digital solutions.
Perfect365 app users can experiment with five one-tap lash looks and view videos on how to apply lashes in real life. Perfect365 is a free makeup app with more than 80 million users. It uses face-detection technology for accurate virtual makeup placement on photos and live videos. Perfect365 app users will be teased about the lash addition.
From lids to lips — women also want to make a bold statement with their lip shades.
The lip category is still shining for mass merchants with sales of lip combos up 140%, gloss up 4%, lip liner rising 4.5% and lip treatment soaring 100%. Among the standout products in the sector are LA Colors Lip Combo, Maybelline Baby Lips lip gloss and NYX lip liner.
The final category with the most positive results is concealers. Dollar sales of concealers are up almost 11%, propelled by a trio of Maybelline items — Instant Age Rewind, Fit Me and Superstay Better Skin. Also, NYX Wonderstick powered a 163% growth spurt.
Future Reality: 10 trends will define the New Year
VR. AR. AI… Oh my.
There is no question how much technology is changing not only the way retailers and brands engage consumers during the pre, during and post phases of the shopping experience, and reshaping the path to purchase, but also how brands bring new innovation to the market and rethink how products are merchandised online and in store.
Below, DSN outlines the big trends, predictions and critical issues that will make the news in 2017 and beyond.
1. VR takes over
With the advent of virtual reality experiences, it won’t be what you say but what your audience experiences that matters. That experience will define differentiation on all levels, from customer engagement to product development and market analysis. In fact, it’s already reshaping reality. GSK Consumer Healthcare created a migraine immersion experience also using VR in a new, high-tech Innovation Lab at its Warren, N.J., headquarters. Meanwhile, in the home improvement channel, Lowes is testing service robots in the aisles and has been piloting Microsoft’s Hololens technology in a special “Holo-room” where customers can visualize do-it-yourself project options. Kantar is using VR to track consumer reaction to in-store signage.
According to a Perkins Coie survey, 89% of tech execs believe VR development will be a major focus over the next two years.
2. The marriage of health and beauty
The future of beauty is health. The vast majority of the growth in non-cosmetic beauty is being driven by products and brands that communicate and deliver a definitive health benefit. More and more, beauty will be a critical part of how women define health and wellness. The best new product launches in 2017 will reflect that trend, and DSN expects to see more growth among high-ticket “medi-derm” therapeutic skin care brands.
3. Purpose matters
According to a survey by Echo Research, 87% of shoppers said they factor social responsibility, sustainability and authenticity into their purchase decisions. More and more, consumers will expect this from retailers as much as CPG brands.
Kroger is developing an anaerobic conversion system to turn organic food waste (food not fit for sale or donation) into energy. Walmart has doubled down on its commitment to sustainability leadership with a new set of 2025 goals.
The big challenge for all brands will be to understand that corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is not just about being “green,” it’s about being genuinely committed to delivering on a vision of sustainability, social service, authenticity and other important consumer ideals. The very best brands and retailers will be hardwired for purpose — it will be an inseparable part of their DNA.
4. Healthy foods
Kantar Retail predicts that between 2016 and 2020, 25% to 50% of innovations made by major suppliers and retailers will include some sort of a FLONH component (fresh, local, organic, natural, and/or healthy). Fresh is a challenge, but DSN expects to see drug stores use data targeting to identify demand, reformatting clusters stores and leveraging external partnerships to offer consumers more of the healthy foods they want.
5. Affordability of health care
Make health care affordable, again. That was the voter mandate in 2016.
Regardless of whether a Trump White House and a Republican-controlled Congress seeks to repeal or just rollback certain elements of ObamaCare, the retailization of health care will continue in 2017 and beyond. Expect the continued expansion of clinical services at community pharmacy — quite possibly capped by the long-awaited enactment of provider status for pharmacists — more partnerships between retail pharmacy, hospitals, big health systems and other key stakeholders, including some pairings that once would have made pretty strange bedfellows, such as CVS’s new PBM-to-PBM relationship with OptumRx, and the broader use of technology and digitization to expand access and lower the cost of patient care.
6. Flipping the ‘switch’
The Food and Drug Administration will consider a new class of OTC hearing aids that could bring an entirely new category to retail pharmacy. Also up for consideration in 2017 — though perhaps not quite as likely — could be a switch of the migraine-treating triptan class of drugs and erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis.
Meanwhile, the newly enacted 21st Century Cures Act will speed FDA approvals, leading to breakthrough new medications, new indications, new therapeutic classes and new device categories.
7. That’s retail-tainment
According to a Harris Poll, 72% of millennials prefer to spend on experiences versus products. For retailers, that means a need to bring theater back to the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. The approach seems to be working in smaller markets. Australian firm Roy Morgan Research found that 90 million more Aussies shopped brick-and-mortar stores in June 2016 than in June 2015, which it attributed to a rise in “retail-tainment.”
Beauty offers an ideal proving ground. L’Occitane’s Flatiron New York City store, which opened in December, features its Smart Beauty Fitting Room, allowing customers to browse products in a private, digital format.
8. Omnichannel becomes ‘uni-channel’
The drift away from traditionally conceived channels to more of a ‘uni-channel’ experience that embraces the divide between in-store and online will continue in 2017. Rather than individual channels, the challenge for retailers will be to think in terms of “points of influence and points of fulfillment,” noted Kantar Retail chief knowledge officer Bryan Gildenberg. According to Kantar, 45% of retailers are committed to investing in multichannel fulfillment in 2016, including a push for in-store pickup of online purchases.
9. Retailers go ‘small’
Retailers are increasingly going “small.” This charge is currently being led by Amazon, who opened its first Amazon Go store, which has been called the “world’s most advanced shopping technology,” and Walmart, which has opened two “pickup and fuel” locations. Expect Amazon to focus on nonedible grocery offerings and quite likely health and beauty moving forward. Walmart will most certainly expand its pickup and fuel format in 2017. Both formats will rely heavily on mobile payment. Thus far, only Starbucks has perfected mobile payment, which has seen 8 million monthly transactions performed on its mobile app, or 21% of all payments.
10. Instant gratification
Today’s “I want it now” society certainly holds true with retail delivery platforms. 7-Eleven became the first retailer in 2016 to successfully deliver products via drone, but expect more retailers to join the fray. Such solutions as Dash buttons and artificial intelligence-enabled personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana will continue to flourish. Also, expect more retailers to take on the uberization of shipping and delivery; CVS began a test in November of a new same-day delivery service for frontstore merchandise, with plans to extend it to pharmacy in 2017.