How Technology has Impacted the Beauty Industry
These days you can find a YouTube community of fans for almost every area of interest and the beauty industry is no different. Social media and beauty may be the ideal match. Those inexperienced with make-up no longer have to guess or struggle with the wrong products or techniques. They simply watch a YouTube tutorial.
If you were to search for the term beauty influencer or MAU (Make-up Artist) on YouTube you would fall down a rabbit hole of videos and channels where many young women and men provide make-up tutorials or other tips and tricks related to beauty and wellness. Most of these young people have managed to spin their make-up knowledge and skills into profitable careers. Some of the most popular so-called beauty/ make-up influencers, such as Kandee Johnson, James Charles, Jeffree Star, Nikkie Tutorials, Tati Westbrook have millions and millions of followers between them.
Many companies and corporations in the beauty industry have caught on to this trend and have started to collaborate with many of these social media stars. Due to the often weekly, or even daily, exposure and interaction with these influencers consumer start to develop a closeness and sense of trust in them. Unlike traditional advertising, consumers see YouTube influencers as trusted sources of information. If a product or company is approved and promoted by your favourite YouTube make-up artist then you are more likely to spend your money on them. Research carried out by Google in 2017 found that 66% of beauty product buyers had been influenced by YouTube.
Beauty + Tech = A Match Made in Heaven
As consumers continue to embrace technology in all areas of their lives, the boundaries between the virtual and real world will increasingly blur. Other than collaborating with these influencers, companies in the beauty industry have also started to fully embrace other kinds of technological advances.
Over the past couple of years, beauty brands have introduced several smart devices or cosmetics in the market to enable customers to take their beauty routines to the next level.
Virtual “try-on” apps, using Augmented Reality technology, allows you to visualise what you would look like wearing certain cosmetics. For example, colour-matching software, which uses facial-recognition and mobile technology to match you with an appropriate foundation.
Nowhere else is personalisation more appreciated and needed than in the personal care industry. Cosmetics and beauty brands have thus started to come up with products and services designed for customers’ individual needs. Innovations in both the tech and beauty industry are coming up with hyper-personalised products. For example, customers can simply fill in a quick online questionnaire relating to their skin care routine and then be sent personalised skin care products relating to the customer’s skin care needs.
Recently, there have also been many innovative technology implementations that are truly transforming the in-store customer experience for beauty retail, such as advanced mirrors that describe products or which recommend foundations according to your skin type.
When one thinks about the impact of technology on industries, the beauty industry does not automatically come to mind. However, it is clear that social media influencers are a key part of the beauty industry and that the developments in technology will help drive the beauty industry forward as consumers become even more attuned to the latest technological advances.