L’Oreal brings augmented reality via Modiface to Amazon

L’Oréal Group and Amazon are teaming up on a new integration to bring Modiface, the L’Oréal-owned augmented reality app, to the online marketplace.

This partnership, which is centered on the lipstick category, marks the first time Amazon is offering consumers an augmented reality beauty experience. To access Modiface on Amazon, customers can either go through the Amazon app or Amazon.com and search for a lipstick product. From there, they’ll find the “Try Now” button under the images of select products and can choose to try on the product in Live Mode (with a live video), on a photo they take or upload, or on a model with a similar skin tone. Customers can also save a color and image of choice for later reference.

Modiface virtual try-on will be available for all L’Oréal makeup brands (seven brands offer lipstick, including Maybelline), as well as other beauty brands such as Rimmel and CoverGirl (which are owned by Coty), Revlon, and Anastasia Beverly Hills. L’Oréal opted to begin with lipstick since it’s one of the most in-demand beauty products, said a brand spokesperson. Modiface’s lipstick AR capabilities will also be available through Amazon in Japan. 

“With this new AI-powered virtual experience, Amazon customers can now try on thousands of lipstick products, save photos on their devices to share with friends and ultimately purchase with greater confidence,” said Nicolas Le Bourgeois, head of Amazon Beauty. “This launch is another important milestone in our vision to be the best possible place for customers to discover and buy beauty products online.”

Neither Amazon nor L’Oréal would reveal the terms and conditions of Modiface’s integration onto Amazon, but both companies stand to earn something significant from the partnership. According to Lubomira Rochet, L’Oréal Group chief digital officer, when Modiface has been deployed on its own brand websites, the company typically sees time spent double and conversions triple. It would make sense that similar results could be expected from Amazon with Modiface. The non-L’Oréal brands will likely benefit for the same reason.

What’s more, it will further provide consumers with a reason to shop beauty products on Amazon versus competitors, while improving the platform’s customer experience. At the same time, Amazon could potentially gain next-level access to customer data.

Among L’Oréal brands, only Maybelline has cracked the top-10 sellers in the lip category on Amazon, according to a September 2018 report from Gartner L2. Maybelline was No. 2 after Amazon-native LipSense.

L’Oreal began testing Modiface with Amazon in a limited capacity in February, in its U.S. and Japanese markets, Rochet said, and it will expand the technology to other categories, like eyeshadow, at an undetermined time. She declined to cite results from the pilot phase.

“We took our time to make sure it was answering a consumer’s need and moving the needle of conversion and engagement,” she said. “For us, we are consumer-centric, so the key questions are about understanding where people are hanging out, learning about beauty brands and buying beauty,” she said.

In the past 12 months, Amazon has made significant moves to improve its beauty experience. In June 2018, it launched a dedicated indie beauty marketplace, and in March 2019, it debuted its first two private-label beauty brands: cosmetics line Fast Beauty Company and skin-care brand Belei. According to a December 2018 report from Glossy, fashion and beauty brands are increasingly warming up to Amazon: Five percent of brands not yet selling on Amazon said they would begin to sell on the platform in 2019, and 29% of brands expected revenues from Amazon to “increase significantly” this year.

Meanwhile, since its acquisition by L’Oréal in March 2018, Modiface has experienced rapid growth. In November 2018, the app expanded into nail color, followed by hair color (through Garnier) in February 2019. It partnered with a number of platforms and retailers, such as Facebook through ads in Facebook’s news feeds in August 2018 and Macy’s in-store in March 2019.

“What we want to do is elevate the beauty experience everywhere,” said Rochet. “A big part of that is to deploy Modiface everywhere and partnering [with companies] and retailers to elevate the experience where everyone shops.”

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