ModiFace launches virtual skin assessment platform
TORONTO — Augmented reality technology provider ModiFace has unveiled its latest effort — a web-based skin assessment platform for skin care brands. The patented technology allows users to upload a photo that it then analyzes for a virtual skin consultation, after which it suggests appropriate products for identified needs.
"We realized that instead of scoring the user's skin based on different dimensions, it would be far more useful to provide specific personalized advice that is both motivational and instructional,” ModiFace founder and CEO Parham Aarabi said. “In other words, instead of criticizing the user's skin or measuring their 'skin age', we tell users what is great about their current skin and how to maintain and enhance their skin health.”
The new platform was built in HTML and is compatible with all operating systems on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. The company said that it has been jointly testing the technology with L’Oréal’s Vichy skin care brand and was widely deployed on Vichy’s web and mobile sites.
ModiFace said the technology is immediately available for integration by skin care brands, noting that the integration consists of a single line of code that can be integrated within brand websites.
Limited assortment, smaller format stores yield greater sales gains for suppliers
CATONSVILLE, Md. — Suppliers who gain distribution through limited assortment and small format retailers are afforded much larger increases in sales, relative to that from large assortment stores, according to the study "The Effect of Retail Distribution on Sales of Alcoholic Beverages," co-authored by Richard Friberg and Mark Sanctuary of the Stockholm School of Economics.
"Small formats with limited assortments like Save-A-Lot and Aldi and neighborhood stores like Target Express have been growing recently in popularity in the United States and around the world," the economists wrote. "For brands, the limited assortments mean greater competition for shelf-space, raising the question of whether it is worth expending marketing effort and slotting allowances to get on to their shelves. According to a forthcoming study in a leading INFORMS scholarly marketing journal, Marketing Science, the answer is 'yes.'"
In general, answering the question of how much distribution affects sales is challenging, due to a "chicken and egg" problem. Sales increase with distribution, but firms also increase distribution when sales increase, making it hard to tease out the effect of distribution on sales from the effect of sales on distribution.
The authors examined SKU level sales data from Systembolaget, a Swedish state-owned monopoly for retailing alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and other spirits from 2006-2011. The advantage of the Swedish data is that the monopoly has to follow a certain set of rules when changing distribution for brands. These rules were established to ensure fairness to wholesalers and to satisfy conditions for Sweden's accession to the European Union. The Swedish retailer classified stores into four tiers based on assortment levels. All brands chosen for distribution are initially sold at the largest format stores. As they become more popular, their likelihood of being sold in the next tier of smaller format stores rises. These distribution decisions are all made twice a year.
"Given we knew the firm's rules and timing for distribution changes, we know which brands have similar chance of being chosen for distribution in the next tier at a given time," Friberg explained. "From among this set of similar brands, we compare the increase in sales for those who gained distribution to the next tier relative to those that did not. This allowed us to isolate the effect of distribution on sales, because the rule allowed us to eliminate the effect of sales on distribution."
The authors found that a 10% widening in the retail distribution of wines, for example, yielded increases in sales by 1.2%, 2.1% and 6.2% as the product gained distribution to the next tier of stores with smaller assortments. "Our results suggests that gaining distribution in one large store with a certain turnover is less effective in increasing sales than gaining distribution at two small stores that have the same combined turnover as the larger store," Sanctuary noted. "Hence gaining distribution in small retail formats remains important for larger brands."
The authors dig deeper into why they found that the effects of increasing distribution to smaller format stores are greater. They rule out explanations such as greater word of mouth that arises from larger distribution and conclude that a brand gaining distribution in limited assortment stores can get a larger share of sales relative to shares at larger assortment stores.
"Getting a larger share of a smaller pie at limited assortment stores is well worth fighting for," Friberg said, with clear implications for brands deciding to expend effort in gaining distribution at such stores that are growing around the world.
Dollar General holds third annual A Day of Beauty event
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General over the weekend held it’s a Day of Beauty event for the third year. The multicultural health and beauty event took place in downtown Nashville and featured a panel discussion that featured Larry Sims, Naja the Nail Guru, Mel J. and Char Braden, as well as a guest speaker presentation from actress and author Kim Fields and a musical performance by Vivian Green.
Also at the event were representatives from Dollar General’s private brands, as well as such brands as L.A. Colors, Maybelline, L’Oréal, Ponds, Jamaican Oil, Olay, Shea Moisture, Cantu, Bella Curls and more, who handed out samples and provided complimentary beauty services.
“Seeing the impact of Dollar General’s third annual A Day of Beauty on participants is inspiring,” Fields said. “I am excited to be part of a day that provides an in-depth look at inner and outward beauty where attendees leave feeling empowered with knowledge and pampered with complimentary products.”
Dollar General’s BeautySense magazine recently hit stores, offering shoppers fall 2017 coupons and more.