Over the last year, we’ve seen beauty brands actively embrace messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Kik. Here are some of the ways beauty brands are using these conversational interfaces to acquire, engage and retain customers:
The beauty industry is impressive in its wide range of personalized products, but also intimidating in its specialized jargon. To simply this process, the bot, Hello Ava, provides personalized beauty information to users through a beauty questionnaire. These questions eventually lead to personalized product recommendations. In addition, the bot technology is complemented by experienced dermatologists to provide a human touch.
Similarly, Kiehl’s Facebook Messenger bot allows users to search for products by ingredients or skin type. Its replicates the traditional in-store consultation experience in a friendly bot interface. Users can search for products with emojis and buy directly through the bot.
Sephora offers popular in-person makeup consultations that can book up weeks in advance. In addition to traditional channels of calling the store or scheduling through the Sephora app, customers can now book appointments through the Sephora Facebook reservation appointment scheduler bot. Scheduling a makeup appointment is as easy as talking to a friend on Messenger.
Estée Lauder created a bot last holiday season for its No 9 Mortimer brand in London. It allowed users to search for products by occasion. Its narrowed searches focus browsing to a few different gift collections. The company also partnered with a courier delivery company to enable two-hour deliveries.
Multiple brands have created bots in the likeness of celebrities. For example, Katy Perry Mad Love and Cover Girl’s Kalani Hilliker bots on Kik both promise a discount or potential prize for participants. As marketers know, users who engage with the brand, and in this case the bots, are more likely to use the coupon than if they simply received it in their email inbox. These personality-infused bots are a fun and personalized way to extend an influencer’s reach into a company’s messaging channel.
Virtual Color Match
In addition to its appointment scheduler bot, Sephora also has a Virtual Makeup Artist bot that lets users try on different shades of lipstick. Users can take a snapshot of a red dress in real life and the system will automatically color match and augment a selfie with that exact lipstick color.
Similarly, professional at-home hair coloring company Madison Reed’s bot Madi is a virtual hair color bot that helps consumers find their right shade of hair color. Rather than wait months to get an appointment with a stylist, users upload a photo to get their hair colored matched instantly. The system analyzes the photo to identify the primary hair color and secondary tones, asks a few simple questions and then suggests the right Madison Reed product. It’s accessible both through SMS text or on Facebook Messenger.
Beauty brands embracing bots is merely the beginning of the trend towards more personalized and intelligent beauty experiences. The next few years promise a significant number of exciting transformations in the beauty industry as beauty companies augment their experiences with technology, starting with bots and extending to online.