To solidify its position as an innovative and education-led brand, Dermalogica created a standalone virtual reality e-commerce storefront to show off its latest products.
The VR store soft-launched in early July. It features an avatar of Dr. Angela Murphy, Dermalogica vp of technology and innovation, talking about the brand’s new Smart Response Serum, which launched in June, as well as four other products. Dermalogica will rotate the products featured over the next year, with the next batch arriving on August 19. The VR store also provides access to the brand’s free skin analysis Face Mapping tool, educational videos on Dermalogica products and services, and Dermalogica aesthetician location finder. People can purchase the featured products from within the website. So far the page has driven over 5,000 sessions and has received over 17,000 page views.
“It’s now easier than ever for people to access education from the comfort of their home. It’s accessible to anyone, anywhere,” said Kenna Wynne-Jones, associate director of brand marketing at Dermalogica. “[But because] there are so many places where consumers are receiving education, [Dermalogica is trying to] establish ourselves on these platforms to try and transform our education in new, fun and immersive ways.”
Among its innovative e-commerce efforts, Dermalogica has also focused in the past year on facilitating livestream shopping (which will be integrated into the VR store at an undetermined time) and adding a live chat functionality with aestheticians. It’s also cultivated a 3-year-old private Facebook group called Skin Care Collective, which currently has 3,900 members. Dermalogica was founded in 1986 and acquired by Unilever in 2015. The brand declined to provide sales figures, but Unilever’s first-quarter earnings report from April 29 said that the prestige beauty category has “returned to strong growth.” It saw double-digit growth year-over-year, aided by the reopening and restocking of physical stores in the U.S. Dermalogica is sold in 106 markets and trains over 100,000 aestheticians each year.
Dermalogica is gauging the success of the VR store based on its ability to lift brand awareness and drive website traffic over the 12 months. The VR store can be accessed through the brand’s traditional e-commerce website, Dermalogica.com, or directly through links the brand has shared in social media posts. Dermalogica has promoted the VR store concept through email, as well as paid and unpaid social posts across Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter.
“We coined this virtual experience the ‘Future of Skin Care.’ We’re hoping people go through the experience and get a better understanding of what Dermalogica is all about, [including] our commitment to education and our trusted skin therapists,” said Wynne-Jones.
Neha Singh, CEO of Obsess, the experiential e-commerce company that Dermalogica tapped to develop the VR storefront, added that this type of VR storefront is a natural progression based on the rapid adoption and growth of e-commerce. Over the past year, Obsess itself experienced a 400% increase in inbound inquiries related to its proprietary VR e-commerce software, primarily from beauty and fashion brands.
“The [beauty] industry has seen an acceleration of e-commerce over the last year, and that has manifested itself into newer formats of online shopping,” said Singh. “Over the course of the year, as a brand has new product launches or different seasons, they can evolve their virtual flagship store just as they would evolve their physical retail store, but with much more capability to expand it or change it.”