VENDING MACHINES TO A.I: HOW WILL THE FUTURE OF BEAUTY SAMPLING LOOK?
Try-to-buy is an important step in the sales funnel, but what is the future of sampling and how will consumers do it safely?
We all know that consumers enjoy touching, smelling, and experiencing a product before making a commitment to purchase, but the world has changed. Brands spend millions (maybe billions) of dollars outfitting stores with fancy tester units, experience stations and other forms of product trial displays which now seem like an outdated concept in our Covid-19 world.
For the same reason you use a GPS system to deliver you safely to a destination, we at Buzz Beauté help navigate brands through the obstacles of commercialization allowing them to achieve their sales and marketing goals. This is how we see safe sampling evolving:
Vending Machines- In 2020, Vengo Labs launched what they call an “end-to-end contactless sampling solution for a post-Covid 19 world.” Located in airports, hotels, shopping centers and more, consumers can step up to the vending machine and get a sample dispensed by using their smart phone. If the consumer agrees to the terms, their contact information is used for additional marketing opportunities. A win for the consumer and brand.
Single-use- Transitioning from tester units to single-use sampling brings about another set of tradeoffs. While single-use samples significantly reduce cross contamination, they present additional costs, storage, and distribution challenges as well packaging waste. That said, we have some fantastic resources to create innovative samples for a wide variety of products.
Artificial intelligence and virtual sampling- From magic mirrors to innovative apps, consumers can digitally test-drive everything from hair color and makeup to apparel. It’s even possible to redesign your home with new paint, window coverings, and décor via A.I. Brands are eager to offer “digital professional assistance” to help consumers purchase the right product for their specific needs.
In collaboration with Google, Estee Lauder makes getting skincare solutions and product recommendations possible via Google Assistant. Others like Coty’s Let’s Get Ready, Sephora’s Color Match Bot, Foreo’s Luna fofo app, and foundation shade finder Make It My Experience (MIME) all use A.I. to recommend and prescribe product to their consumers.
Live or remote sampling- Many consumers are taking advantage of real-time, interactive experiences to discover new products. As reported by eMarketer and Adweek, 63% of internet users age 18-24, watch livestreams and 80% prefer watching live brand videos over reading a blog. Popular in China, livestream or e-stream selling is how a large number of consumers discover brands and is gaining popularity around the globe. Even Amazon has joined the trend with Amazon Live where you can see demonstrations of product and get them delivered to your doorstep.