- Perfect Corp., a maker of augmented reality (AR) technology for cosmetics companies, will bring its YouCam Makeup software to beauty counters at the Ginza location of Fruit Gathering, a Japanese cosmetics chain, according to a press release by the company.
- Starting on June 15, the brick-and-mortar store will have a virtual studio that lets shoppers use AR to try out different makeup styles before buying products.
- Perfect’s in-store software, Consultation Mode, is customized for cosmetic brands to use at retail locations and has similar features as its mobile app, YouCam Makeup.
Perfect Corp.’s AR technology is taking many forms. The company has expanded its capabilities beyond its original mobile app into in-store systems, such as the Fruit Gathering store in Japan. The company's CEO Alice Chang has touted the company’s strengths in AR as a way to engage customers and guide them toward a transaction.
The overwhelming majority of beauty purchases still occur at brick-and-mortar locations, but digital tactics like mobile apps where users can explore new styles are increasingly viable as a way for brands to drive store visits and boost transactions. Cosmetics marketers are seeing major upheaval partially due to the sweeping success of stores like Sephora, which lets people sample a wide range of products before buying, oftentimes using digital tools and face scans to match skin tones to products. The YouCam, Fruit Gathering partnership is the latest example of how beauty and mobile technology are proving to be an alluring mix. In May, L'Oréal partnered with Perfect's YouCam to showcase products with 64 makeup suggestions that appear as an overlay on a selfie for this year’s Cannes Film Festival in southern France.
AR still has detractors who are disappointed with the technology. Beauty consumers and journalists have lamented AR-powered makeup placement as clunky and unrealistic in appearance. Plus, as Snapchat has seen with its filters and masks that quickly get copied by Instagram, innovative features often get adopted in the marketplace and the novelty wears off.