Covergirl partners with Walmart on AR-enabled mobile web sales
Covergirl partnered with Walmart to market the Coty-owned beauty brand’s products on the mobile web. Covergirl introduced a mobile-web try-on experience that lets customers test out new looks using augmented reality (AR) directly in a browser on most smartphones without the need to download a separate app, per a statement.
Shoppers can visit http://www.covergirl.com/tryit to see five new looks the brand has created for the spring fashion season. Coty has an exclusive arrangement with Walmart to sell the new Covergirl products by linking directly to Walmart.com.
Five social influencers from the Covergirl Collective will demonstrate how to achieve the looks with tutorials on their YouTube channels. The experience was developed by Beamly, Coty’s in-house martech agency, and Holition, a creative technology agency specializing in emerging technologies. The experience is available on iPhone devices running iOS 11 or higher and most Android smartphones.
While makeup brands have offered virtual try-on’s in mobile apps for years, Covergirl seeks to broaden its potential audience with a mobile web experience that doesn’t require potential customers to go through the extra steps of seeking out an app to download. As AR becomes a more widely accepted technology, developers are looking for ways to bring it out of apps to the web, although there is currently no standard for AR on the web. While a number of beauty brands have launched AR app experiences, examples on the web are much fewer. In general, big beauty brands have been among the most eager to experiment with new mobile technologies of late.
Covergirl wants to make it easy for shoppers to follow through with the try-on’s by buying the products at Walmart’s website. Coty, whose sales grew 7% to $2.2 billion in Q1 2018, plans to expand the mobile-web experience to its other brands, which include Max Factor and Rimmel, while continuing to refine the try-on features.
Mobile websites have several advantages over native apps, such as instant accessibility through a browser on a wider range of devices, per website developer Human Service Solutions. That means brands only need to develop a single website instead of several versions of apps for each mobile platform. Mobile website URLs also are easily integrated with other mobile technologies such as SMS, QR Codes and near-field communication (NFC). In addition, mobile websites can be updated instantly, whereas app updates need to be pushed to users with another download.
Coty has been active in developing ways to interact with customers on a variety of platforms. Last month, the company debuted a visual skill for Amazon's Echo Show that lets customers use voice commands to shop for hair and makeup products. The "Let's Get Ready" skill can demonstrate more than 2,000 hair and makeup combinations and let viewers add products to an Alexa shopping list, per a statement.