P&G’s prestige beauty brand has showcased its ‘Future X Smart Store’ at the Las Vegas show, which opened its doors on 08-11 January. The retail concept was initially launched in Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore last year.
The store concept relies on ‘phygital’ retail experiences that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to take shoppers on a digital in-store journey, beginning with a reading of their facial expressions and movements at a large-scale digital wall called ‘The Art of You.’ The wall generates different energy lines and colours with every facial movement or twitch, creating a unique artistic image for each user.
Next up is a revamped version of the brand’s signature ‘Magic Ring’ skin analysis, which, unlike regular facial analysis, is carried out digitally and remotely by an interactive screen that scans the face and displays the results. A ‘Smart Beauty Bar’ offers advice and personalized product browsing, while a projection mapping table that tracks hand motions allows shoppers to add goods to their digital carts with a wave.
“Emerging technologies such as AI and facial recognition allow us to challenge existing retail norms and share our brand experience in the way that is the most meaningful to our consumer,” said Sandeep Seth, Vice President, Global SK-II. “She can experience our products and learn about her skin at her own pace without being watched, judged or pressured. Our journey with the Future X Smart Store is not about replacing humans with tech, but supplementing to create a better and more meaningful shopping experience for our consumers.”
SK-II is one of multiple beauty brands focusing on incorporating innovative technologies into the in-store retail experience. Makeup brand Covergirl’s new flagship store in New York, which opened in November, is one such example: the boutique features a ‘virtual greeter’ powered by artificial intelligence, who directs shoppers to their favourite products, as well as an ‘augmented reality glam station’ that lets consumers virtually try on lipstick and eyeshadow before digitally sharing the result with friends. Meanwhile, August saw the French brand L’Occitane en Provence open the doors to a New York flagship of its own, complete with an in-store ‘rain shower’ sink and an interactive skincare consultation area, aimed at producing user-generated content for social media.