23/03/2021

Digitalisation in beauty: a Brave New World

Online communities and connected lifestyles have pushed brands to innovate in communications and digital experiences

Digital transformation is not a new concept for beauty brands, but it has become a priority. With the pandemic impacting the physical retail experience, tech-based business strategies have been accelerated and are now more important than ever.

In the cosmetics industry, brands have been pushed to reinvent their marketing plans and the way they communicate, sell and interact with consumers. A recent Mintel study among British citizens shows that most cosmetics consumers access apps, online reviews, and content while browsing in-store. Younger generations are especially reliant on digital channels: more than half of 16- to 34-year-olds are more likely to buy from brands that provide interesting online content than those that don't.

"Transparent communication and trust are more important than ever. Everything a brand does or says is seen through a magnifying glass by consumers," says Marcia Bardauil, Quadpack's Market Insights Lead. This community has been guided by 'skinfluencers', social media content producers who are opinion leaders in their fields – from dermatologists and make-up artists to regular people with a big following, they scrutinise not only formulas and active ingredients but also brands' sustainability claims and ethical values.

Due to health and safety restrictions in shops, beauty companies are going beyond the classic e-commerce strategy and investing in more complex virtual interactions. The goal is to create online engagement and a more realistic brand experience, using VR/AR try-outs, virtual skincare consultations and immersive experiences, like these innovative beauty brand collaborations with the videogame Animal Crossing.

These experiences are meant to support new sales and marketing models affected by the pandemic restrictions and align with trends like customisation and AI-based solutions. Cutting-edge devices like this make-up and skincare dispenser answer consumers' needs for smart personalisation and represent a breakthrough in beauty tech.

According to Ivan Borrego, General Manager of Beauty Cluster Barcelona, there are more initiatives in areas such as connected packaging, artificial intelligence in product development or new digital platforms like marketplaces or social networks. "This will lead to a generation of more innovative products and services. Brands who are strongly committed to digital will have a competitive advantage compared to those who are late to the scene," he says.

How are we adapting to this trend? Discover Quadpack's long-term digital transformation project.