Almost every major beauty brand, from Clinique to Cover Girl, is offering an app that helps consumers find the perfect lipstick or foundation shade. Mass retailers and brands that have the funds to invest in the development of app technology have had an advantage over emerging brands—until now! A new app, Map My Beauty, developed by Anabella Daily, the creator of Sephora’s Pocket Contour app, offers indie beauty brands the opportunity to play in the augmented reality app space. Daily, a digital guru with an impressive background that includes launching the fashion and beauty channel, Hello Style, for Hearst Digital, and work on Conde Nast properties such as Vogue, Glamour, and Style.com, spoke to Women’s Marketing about her latest project.
Women’s Marketing: Tell us a little about your new app, Map My Beauty – when was it released and what has the response been so far, both from consumers and from brands?
Daily: Map My Beauty is an app that offers individualized makeup tutorials right on your selfie, along with product recommendations and inspiring multi-media content, as well as interactive beauty counters by exciting indie brands.
Before launching the Map My Beauty app, we pioneered Sephora’s Pocket Contour as a mobile web experience. It showed women how to contour on their own selfie, based on their face shape. When it quickly grew to 2 million user experiences with a 40% repeat rate, we knew consumers were craving a digital way to get individualized tutorials.
At the end of April 2016, we launched the Map My Beauty iOS app to offer consumers a wide variety of individualized makeup tutorials, along with individualized product recommendations.
Each of our brand partners receives its own custom real estate to connect consumers directly to that brand’s own counter, so in essence, Map My Beauty is the mobile touch point for their e-commerce site and their brick-and-mortar retailers. Map My Beauty engages consumers both pre-purchase and post-purchase, and allows for hyper targeted marketing to keep her coming back. This has been a very exciting new innovation for brands that see themselves as inherently engaging, social and mobile-first. We are also giving our partners in-depth analytics on who their consumer is, down to the coverage preference and eye color of the consumer who most engages with them, which is extremely valuable.
Our market research showed that one of the biggest barriers to buying new brands or products is education. Many women are unsure how to use products they already own or are considering purchasing. For our brand partners, Map My Beauty solves both issues, becoming a valuable pre-purchase and post-purchase communication tool.
From consumers, we are seeing a lot of excitement for the individualized instruction, to the tune of 20,000 tutorial engagements for our brand partners and a 48% repeat rate.
Women’s Marketing: Map My Beauty offers custom how-tos and personalized product selections, but instead of big brands, Map My Beauty spotlights indie brands. Why did you feel that working with emerging brands was important, both for the consumer and for brands?
Daily: Emerging brands have the luxury of innovating quickly, and we have had a great time exploring multiple ways our early partners can take advantage of Map My Beauty as an omni-channel information, instruction and engagement tool. On the other hand, as a consumer, it can be challenging to discover and learn about indie brands online. We curate brands and products along with individualized instruction and recommendations—and make that information available whenever and wherever the consumer wants it.
Women’s Marketing: Why do you believe consumers are drawn to make up apps and how do you think this enhances the e-tail and retail experience?
Daily: Consumers, especially Millennials, want to engage with brands. This is why interactivity is such a key aspect in today’s marketing initiatives. When you can get her to deeply engage in your brand it drives sales, enhances the retail/e-tail experience, and she becomes a dedicated and loyal customer.
Women’s Marketing: How many brands are you currently partnering with on the app? Do you plan to add additional brands to the mix?
Daily: Our launch includes four highly curated brands with specific positioning in the indie space. We plan to grow and partner with additional indie brands but also form highly strategic partnerships with retailers/e-tailers, publishers, and influencers, tailoring our technology for their platforms and needs. There are so many customizable features within our technology that the potential is limitless. For example, our face shape analysis can lead the consumer to the best hairstyle tutorials for her, and our recommendation algorithm can match her with the ideal skincare regimen or fragrance.
Women’s Marketing: Augmented reality has changed the way consumers engage with beauty. Where is the technology going? What do you believe is the next big thing in beauty?
Daily: A mobile-first strategy will be a key factor in all things beauty. Map My Beauty’s goal is to be the mobile channel that connects all the dots along a consumer’s omni-channel journey, creating a mobile touch point for the retail experience and the physical product to online and apps—and keeps her coming back.
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