L’Oreal has recently released an AR mini-program for Tencent’s app, WeChat, a messaging application largely used in China. The new mini-program lets users try on makeup in the mobile chatting app using augmented reality, which is a common trend for many retailers.
With WeChat’s popularity in China, L’Oreal could possibly reach around 1.1 billion users, which is vital for L’Oreal’s breakthrough into China’s growing economy. The app, which works like Apple’s iOS system, appeals to a large range of smartphone users and marketers wanting to reach a lot of people.
L’Oreal’s assimilation with the AR company ModiFace last year in March has proven to be beneficial. The companies had already worked together for seven years. Since L’Oreal bought it, they now have access to patented technology that allows users to simulate the product on their faces. The makeup industry is becoming increasingly tech-oriented, and these AR features definitely put L’Oreal ahead of the growing competition.
CEO Jean-Paul Agon said at a company Q2 2018 earnings call, “The acquisition of ModiFace in the first half is also a major milestone in the transformation of L’Oréal into a digitally augmented beauty company.”
L’Oreal has also added its ModiFace technology to Amazon just a month ago. This gives many more users easier access to try on and choose the makeup that they like, preventing many dissatisfied customer cases. Customer service is the key to the retail industry, especially as everything moves online.
“We’ve deployed 120 of those projects. We now consider virtual make-up try on to be the base of any experience. At the end of the day the only barrier to buying a product is wondering what it will look like.” says Lubomira Rochet, ModiFace’s global chief digital officer in an interview with The Drum.
“People are trying 42 looks because it’s fun and entertaining and the experience is easy and the color rendering is precise,” said Rochet. “People are really playing with it and are really starting to spend time with the brand.”
Rochet also says that once marketers have put the AR features on their app or website, they will see their engagement grow up to three times. Other platforms, like Instagram, WeChat, and Facebook are allowing the promotion of L’Oreal and other brands using AR.
L’Oreal will soon release a hair color try-on program, in an attempt to go beyond just makeup products. They are also trying to help women find their foundation color using a foundation finder program, similar to Sephora’s Foundation Finder and Fenty Face Shade Finder system. Rochet also said “50 percent of women still can’t find the right shade of foundation. So, we’re working on a scientific Foundation Finder. It’s very hard to take into consideration things like lighting conditions and camera phone technology. But we’re using super advanced machine learning techniques to crack the problem.”