'Virtual try-ons' replacing 'in-store' experience as L'Oreal taps technology to reach consumers

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2020 05:38 PM | Updated as of Oct 05 2020 08:26 PM

Consumers can experience virtual-try on for products such as haircolor on the L'Oreal Philippines' Official website. Screengrab

MANILA - Global brand L'Oreal said Monday technology is becoming an "integral" part of beauty as virtual try-ons and augmented reality replace in-store experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Consumer expectations have evolved as well as the way they "discover, test and buy" products, said L’Oreal Philippines managing director Supriya Singh during the virtual Digicon 2020 event. 

Virtual try-ons are being used so consumers can experience products such as foundations, eye-shadows and hair color before purchase, she said. 

"In the now normal, we no longer have make-up testers in stores so we use this technology either assisted by beauty advisor or just by scanning the QR code on your phone," Singh said.

"Powered by artificial intelligence and boosted by augmented reality, technology turns ideas into frontier products and experiences on multiply channels," she added.

Singh said the company has been investing in digital technology in the last 10 years. In the Philippines, e-commerce sales is expected to be close to 30 percent of its total sales this year, she said.

"We’re setting ourselves in a world where half of our business is e-commerce and 80 percent or our consumer interaction will be online," Singh said.

Aside from advance technology, live streaming in social media and e-commerce platforms helped engage and attract consumers, she said. 

Consumers are also leaning towards virtual consultations to find the best products fit for their skin, she added. Consumers have also become "more conscious" of ingredients, L'Oreal said.

RECOVERY

Eyemake up is likely among the make-up products that will recover the fastest from the pandemic slump, Singh said. Concealers are also selling well since the eyes aren't covered by face masks unlike lipsticks, she added.

"The type of usage has changed dramatically. Eye make up is the fastest recovery because people still see it. In fact we have campaigns such as smile with your eyes," Singh said.

Skincare, hair care and hair color are also seen as "essentials," she added.

"Some of the things we’ve seen is that skin care regimen is increasing because when you have more time at home, people are experimenting on serum and all these different types of products. So we see a big growth in skincare and hair color for sure, that’s booming," Singh said. 

Consumers have turned to digital and online for their needs after the Philippines imposed one of the world's longest lockdowns starting mid-March. 

Experts earlier said that the digital habits of Filipinos are likely to stay even after the pandemic is contained.