And who are the main drivers and beneficiaries of this achievement? Women consumers. Most of them have now already acquired a few skills in new technologies, so they adopt innovations without any reservations.

Convincing virtual reality

YouCam MakeUp, the free Android and IPhone application developed by the Taiwan-based Perfect Corporation company, was downloaded 150 million times in 18 months around the world. To adapt to the endless diversity of people and optimize the interaction between consumers and cosmetics brands, Alice Chang, founder of Perfect Corporation, wanted a platform dedicated to beauty that would gather three applications to apply any virtual makeup (YouCam MakeUp, YouCamNails), improve selfies (YouCamPerfect), and exchange on beauty with a social network for the beautysta community (Beauty Circle).

YouCam MakeUp, the most popular of all three applications, makes it possible for users to instantaneously test the latest makeup trends and their shades on their faces, thanks to the augmented reality technology. Its strength is that it reflects a moving camera image and gives a high quality result.

The application mainly seduces the Millenials generation in the United States, China, Brazil, but also France – 79% of women users are aged 18 to 34. The website receives about 15 two to four-minute visits per month, during which all users test 11 colours on average, at each session.

The success of YouCam MakeUp also represents for brands a fantastic opportunity to enjoy direct access to 150 million potential customers. Partnerships help them take advantage of general information reports, like the most common wishlists saved according to the various regions of the world, or get more personalized information with competitions created in collaboration with women’s magazines or relayed through the Beauty Circle community.

The objective is to boost online sales on brands’ e-stores, but the test/validation/purchase trilogy is convincing for both parties.

Similarly, it is all about virtual reality with OTSTC Creative Biometric. Created in 2003, the agency is already working with Armani, Biotherm, Boots, Vichy/La Roche-Posay/Inneov, Dior, Givenchy, or Guerlain to offer virtual solutions, applications, or software for makeup, hair dyes, and skin diagnoses – all in real time. A real tool to enhance sales, the solution also applies to points of sale, where the products showcased can be virtually tested. The intuitive touch screen application mimics makeup gestures for a natural effect.

As for LF Beauty, who aim to shape tomorrow’s retail, they present a new technology based on a camera placed in different retail display spaces to detect consumers’ hand movements and identify the products examined.

Data, “the new oil”

The Link Influence company has adopted a different approach, by banking on collecting and analyzing data from the web. Their tool, Radarly, makes it possible to listen to conversations and comments made on websites’ forums and social networks in real time. This raw material is retrieved, processed, and analyzed by a team of sociologists and research directors, and then sent back to customer companies. For R&D services on the look-out for trends, this information is a new godsend. “There is a strong demand from cosmetics brands to better understand customer expectations. The luxury sector, which has been less in demand recently, is also getting increasingly interested in this technology,” comments Laëtitia Amiault, Link Influence Sales Director in France. The company is also present in England and Germany, and has just purchased its counterpart in China, where the social web is used differently.

In this overview of new technologies, one can notice the appearance of an essential data resource: sampling. Sample distributor Delpi, developed by Adelpi, delivers both samples and information reports on consumers to brands. Thanks to its interactive screen, this terminal informs users via different ways (videos, ad campaigns, pictures, product information…). And it is them who, on their own initiative, ask for the perfume or cosmetic sample of their choice, after filling in a quick questionnaire with their names and email addresses (the addresses are checked and validated in real time). A QR code can be added to learn more about the sample’s journey and transformation into a product purchase.

The connected Delpi terminals can be personalized and integrated to any type of environment (points of sale, parties, shopping malls, cinemas…). This 100% French technology is available on the national territory for now.