Recently, experiential e-commerce platform Obsess partnered with market research firm Coresight Research to conduct an online survey regarding the investment priority of immersive experiences to US brands across the fashion, home, CPG/FMCG, and beauty sectors, and more than half of US brands and retailers surveyed say they will “definitely” increase their investment in immersive experiences over the next three years.
Immersive experiences like virtual storefronts, live streaming, data or AI-enabled content for personalization, and Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) enabled virtual try-on options have been increasingly more popular in recent years and have been particularly successful amongst beauty brands for their ability to showcase finished products better and connect consumers with the product options that best suit their needs.
To learn more about the survey and its potential impact on cosmetic and personal care product brands, including how manufacturers and suppliers to these industries can apply immersive experiences to better connect with beauty brands, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Neha Singh, Founder, and CEO of Obsess for her insights.
About the survey
To conduct the survey, Obsess and Coresight Research contacted 150 decision-makers at US-based brands and retailers “with annual revenue of $100 million or above (including online revenue of $10 million or above) that have invested in immersive experiences, operating in the fashion (61 respondents), home (41), CPG/FMCG (41) or beauty (7) sector,” shared Singh. Additionally, to qualify for the survey, those decision makers needed to be a “Senior Manager or above who are familiar with their companies’ performance metrics of immersive experiences,” she added.
Respondents were then queried as to their potential investment in immersive experiences, where the priority of that investment ranked within other types of marketing investments, and the types of investments being made in different immersive experiences, including virtual stores, data/AI-enabled content for personalization, gaming experiences, and social shopping.
The survey revealed that “fifty-five percent of US brands and retailers across the fashion, beauty, CPG/FMCG and home categories say they will ‘definitely’ increase their investment in immersive experiences over the next three years,” said Singh. Additionally, “on average, immersive experiences rank the third-highest investment priority overall for these brands and retailers over the next twelve months,” behind e-commerce and influencer marketing, she shared.
Further results indicated that the “upticks in sales as a result of investing in virtual stores are widespread across fashion, beauty, home, CPG and FMCG,” with “at least 97% of respondents in each sector reported positive sales increases in total and online,” she said, adding that “the vast majority of these saw moderate or significant increases.”
Singh further explained that the results produced data that shows that immersive experience technologies “have real business impact, with 88% of brands and retailers that have invested in virtual stores experiencing significant or moderate increases in total sales as a result.” Additionally, she shared, “77% of companies that have invested in either gamified shopping experiences and data/AI-enabled content for personalization reporting significant or moderate increases in online sales,” and further, “78% of brands and retailers that have invested in social shopping seeing significant or moderate increases in online sales as a result.”
The survey data results demonstrate that “cosmetic and personal care product brands are poised to deliver more meaningful, engaging and personalized shopping journeys by prioritizing and leveraging immersive experiences such as virtual stores, data/AI-enabled content for personalization, social shopping and gamified shopping experiences in the coming years,” said Singh.
The strong positive results towards immersive experience investment can also “serve as a roadmap for brands for what and how to invest in the types of experiences that will ultimately lead to increased customer acquisition, customer loyalty, conversion and business growth,” she added.
For example, she illustrated, “Manufacturers and suppliers can create virtual showrooms to help them educate buyers on products, their ingredients, and packaging.” Global chemical manufacturer BASF has already embraced this idea, as previously reported by CosmeticsDesign. “Just like a virtual store,” said Singh, “these manufacturers and suppliers can integrate 3D products and interactive content within the immersive experience, giving buyers a new way to learn about products and make their buying decisions for the following season.”
For beauty brands, implementing “immersive commerce solutions overall have seen an increase across metrics, further proving they are truly a full-funnel solution – from acquisition to engagement to purchase,” she added. For example, as previously reported by CosmeticsDesign, Maybelline has recently partnered with FFFACE.ME to launch the world’s largest AR mirror in Ukraine, enabling users to try the brand’s newest mascara product, which has generated increased interest and engagement with its target audience.
2024 and beyond
Moving forward, Singh concluded, the beauty industry can expect to see more immersive experiences like these being implemented on a broader scale, especially “data/AI-enabled content for personalization and virtual stores,” which “have both shown promising results in driving metrics such as the new customer acquisition, product click-through rate, time spent visiting stores and conversion rate,” underscoring “the potential for companies to invest in personalization to boost conversion and reach,” she said.
As cosmetics and personal care manufacturers, suppliers, and beauty brands evaluate their marketing strategies for the year ahead, it is essential to consider survey data results to inform the decision-making process for more effective marketing practices and systems. By utilizing complex data, companies in the beauty sector can be more efficient in their marketing budget spend and potentially increase YoY sales through more conservative investment opportunities.