BEAUTY CARE

Retailer Brandless makes a brand play for no-frills value online

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — The retro value-oriented online retailer Brandless swung open its (virtual) doors for business on Tuesday, featuring a bevy of nameless, national-brand equivalent products all retailing for a flat $3.

It's a counter-movement to today's retail brand progression that has evolved from the NBE, black-and-white label store brand options of decades past to "own brand" adaptations that seek to rival the innovation and appeal of brand name products.

"Today, 7-11-2017, is our starting line," noted founder Tina Sharkey in a blog on the Brandless site. "Our everyday essentials collection — aka the things you use all the time — just launched with an extensive array of awesome products, from snacks to soap to serving spoons. All for just $3."

Helping to streamline the back-end is a limited selection, Sharkey noted. "We’re not overwhelming you with options (there aren’t 100 pasta sauces to compare, there are three) or forcing you to over-consume (no need to stock up to save, you can get great value buying just one)," she shared. "We don’t want you to spend your time and energy trying to figure out the difference between 20 different Italian dressings or hunting for the best deal. We’re bringing you an edited assortment of better products at a fairer price."

To help market that no-frills packaging, Sharkey shares with potential consumers the concept of the "BrandTax," otherwise known as the "hidden costs you pay for a national brand often associated with production and retailer margin," she wrote. "We’ve been trained to believe these markups increase the quality of the product, but they rarely do. And those markups seriously add up. In fact, you pay an average of 40% more to have a big-name brand on the label."

In addition to delivering value through its "brandless" promise, the company donates a meal to Feeding America with every Brandless order. "At Brandless, we care about kindness and generosity, we care about trust and honesty," Sharkey wrote. "[W]hile $3 is a great starting point in making better stuff accessible to more people, we know that doesn’t include everyone," she noted. "Though today is our official launch day, we’ve already donated thousands of meals thanks to the early believers in the Brandless promise."

 

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L’Oréal ups omnichannel strategy by joining YouCam Makeup app

BY David Salazar
 
NEW YORK and CLICHY, France — L’Oréal and Perfect, the company behind augmented reality beauty app YouCam Makeup, on Monday announced that the app would be integrating collections from L’Oréal’s brands worldwide through a new partnership. 
 
L’Oréal said that using the app at L’Oréal counters in-store, coupled with the possibility for beauty shoppers to access the looks through the app, was a way to create a seamless online-to-offline customer journey. 
 
“The Perfect Corp.-L’Oréal partnership accelerates on building omnichannel services to enhance the consumer experience at every touchpoint,” L’Oréal chief digital officer Lubomira Rochet said. “Virtual make up, live streaming, augmented reality shopping are key features in a modern beauty journey that mixes online and offline. These services delight our consumers and increase conversion rates for our brands.”
 
Perfect last week shared research from a yearlong study of YouCam Makeup users, which found that app users were 1.6 times more likely than non-users to buy cosmetics, and that overall its users spend 2.7 times more on beauty products than non-users. 
 
“We are delighted to partner with the beauty industry leader L’Oréal to offer a seamless makeover experience that brings brand products to life through AR technology,” Perfect CEO Alice Chang said. “This partnership allows beauty fans around the world to experience L’Oréal products like never before and represents a significant milestone that transforms the way consumers discover, try and buy beauty.”
 
The partnership between the two companies began with brands L’Oréal Paris and Yves Saint Laurent in Japan, with the first phase beginning at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The two companies showcased 64 virtual beauty looks for fans in the United States, India, Mexico and Russia to try in the app. 
 

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Data shows how virtual try-on impacts beauty shoppers’ behavior

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — Perfect, the company behind the YouCam Makeup app, is sharing data that offers a look at the impact augmented reality try-on has on beauty shoppers. Perfect found that YouCam Makeup users are 1.6 times more likely to buy cosmetics compared to non-users, and app users possess a lot of buying power, as users spend 2.7 times more on beauty products than non-users.

The company also found that the app’s AR try-ons drove two times more cosmetic sales — and with some brands drove conversions six times more sales — than those seen among non-users. And Perfect found that AR apps are a key player in cosmetic sales among Gen Z shoppers, who are 10 times more likely to make purchase decisions after using the app, and millennials, who are two times more likely to buy something after using the app.

“We are thrilled to learn that YouCam Makeup encourages customers to make more informed purchasing decisions through AR try-ons,” says Perfect Corp. CEO Alice Chang. “Our team continues to develop the complete beauty journey for all aspects of the beauty market, allowing YouCam users to discover, try, share, and buy beauty products in one seamless platform.”

The yearlong study looked at behavior and purchase histories of 25,000 females in Japan 15-69 years old that did and did not use the app. To view the full results, click here

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