Sylvain Delteil - Indeed, the time when each brand was considering the opportunity to develop its own application is over. On the one hand, no one can download a different app for each brand on its smartphone and, on the other hand, brands aim to address as many consumers as possible, not only their fans.
Today, only a few applications have been successful to aggregate a significant number of users worldwide. YouCam apps have passed the 400 million downloads mark worldwide, thus becoming one of market leaders with Meitu, which is very strong in China but has little presence outside of this market.
Premium Beauty News - How do you explain the success of YouCam apps?
Sylvain Delteil - The main reason is the quality of the results achieved through our virtual reality makeup technology and the variety of options available in the apps. We are constantly working to improve the virtual make-up quality.
Furthermore, our suite of applications (YouCam Makeup, YouCam Perfect, YouCam Fun, YouCam Nails and Beauty Circle) is very consistent. It is a very complete ecosystem designed to allow a comprehensive journey in the beauty world, from discovery to purchase, through sharing and exchange ...
Our CEO, Alice H. Chang, has a true vision of women’s needs. She puts technology at the service of these needs rather than trying to push technologies... YouCam apps are not just an engineering creation, but a consistent set designed to fit the needs of users. That is why, for example, the app offers monthly looks corresponding to astral signs. This service generates a considerable number of connections to the app!
Premium Beauty News - What types of partnerships do you offer to brands?
Sylvain Delteil - It’s custom made. Each brand has its own very specific needs and expectations. Furthermore, these needs may vary from one country to another, depending on whether the brand operates its own e-shop or not. We offer brands the opportunity to put their products forward. Eventually, the users can be directed to an online boutique. We record high visitation rates of e-shops linked to the app, even without ads. However, we do not calculate conversion rates because we do not have our own shop.
Premium Beauty News - How do you make money?
Sylvain Delteil - We charge the brands according to the number of products they make available to users on the apps. This is also a good means to avoid that unnecessary products be uploaded in our databases. Interested brands can also invest in advertising, to give even more visibility to their products.
Premium Beauty News - Do you also work with retailers?
Sylvain Delteil - Retailers are showing a growing interest in our services. Initially, some of them were suspicious that our applications could be their competitors. Now, everybody agrees apps and brick-and-mortar shops are all very complementary. Applications can be used to attract consumers in shops for personalized and one-to-one counselling, promotional campaigns, and more.
Also, there are mixed cases of brand-distributor partnerships. Some brands do not refer to their own e-shop but to a retailer. Tablets that only offer products of a given brand can be made available to users inside a retail outlet. It is an effective way for engaging a conversation with the consumer. And we can do a lot of testing, which is impossible with just one product.
Premium Beauty News - It’s also a huge source of information. Data collection is at the heart of your model.
Sylvain Delteil - Analytical feedbacks are very much appreciated by our partners. We own a tremendous amount of information available. For a country like Italy, for instance, there are several tens of thousands of uses per day for a brand. And there are more and more comments on the products.
The brands on the app have access to a portal providing real time information, and for the last six months, on how users use the products available on the application. We can see which products are tested, which ones are used to create a look, and which ones have been saved. It is a dynamic interface that makes it possible to produce statistical representations by product types and by colours.
Brands can also ask us to search for specific data (deep dive).
Premium Beauty News - A huge amount of data is available through your apps, but are they really illustrative of the market?
Sylvain Delteil - It all depends on the brands and their customers. Indeed, 80% of our audience is under 34 years of age. However, the data we collect are based on large volumes, even if they are very focused on millennials ... Many brands consider that our data allow to identify trends, as well as weak signals from emerging trends... And this will allow them to make decisions almost instantaneously without having to wait for the quarterly figures.
Premium Beauty News - What are your next development prospects?
Sylvain Delteil - We continue to develop the functionalities of our applications. We recently launched live cast sessions in the United States, which allowed us to offer online live events, such as tutorials, events with brand ambassadors, makeup artists, etc.
We also strive to refine our offer by working on skin textures, beyond skin tone, in order to be able to suggest skin treatments. It is more complex than makeup but it is a major development avenue...