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Cargo Cosmetics brings augmented reality product trial to mobile browsers

Cargo Cosmetics is enabling beauty enthusiasts to virtually try on makeup by implementing FaceCake Marketing Technologies’ augmented reality platform into its mobile and desktop browsers, eliminating the need to download yet another standalone application.

The beauty marketer is leveraging the CAKE shopping platform, a new offering from the provider behind makeover app ShadeScout, in a bid to fuel sales among mobile shoppers who may be wary about purchasing a new cosmetics product without trying it on. Cargo Cosmetics’ strategy stands out from the rest of its competitors by not forcing site visitors to relinquish their smartphone real estate and download another app, instead letting them upload a photo directly in the mobile browser.

“Apps are great brand extensions, but over 75 percent of ecommerce sales still happen online and looking at the beauty market, it’s even higher than that,” said Linda Smith, founder and CEO of FaceCake Marketing Technologies. “A browser-based solution that provides personalized engagement to users in an easily accessible way is critical as more and more sales of all products move to mobile.”

Virtual dressing rooms
The CAKE platform allows consumers to try on various products in real-time within a mobile or desktop browser by uploading an existing photo, or taking a new picture via a webcam. This lets beauty fans have the in-store experience on mobile or online, a strategy that will undoubtedly resonate with individuals unable to visit their favorite bricks-and-mortar locations for a shopping spree.

Additionally, the platform does not rely on a mobile app. This marks a significant achievement in the augmented reality sector, as previously, these experiences required consumers to make room for yet another brand’s app on their smartphones.

Consequently, Cargo Cosmetics may find more customers taking advantage of the new offering.

Shoppers can view a plethora of product shades in real-time, as if they were staring into a mirror, or on a stationary image of themselves.

Mobile users may visit Cargo Cosmetics’ site on their smartphones and test out the tool by looking up the brand’s Essential Lip Colors or Eye Shadow Singles. Once shoppers have selected a desired shade of either item, they can click on the “Try!” button positioned directly below the main product image.

Then, the browser will pull up a new page asking the user to upload a photo. Customers will be able to play around with the various shades and determine which best suits their skin tone.

If they happen to find a favorable color, they can make an immediate purchase by checking out via Cargo Cosmetics’ mobile site.

Additionally, fans can take a selfie during their augmented reality experience and disperse the image across their social media networks, a strategy that could drive even more uses of the CAKE platform – and consequently, more sales.

Transforming the beauty industry
An increasing number of cosmetics marketers have taken to leveraging innovative mobile solutions as they ramp up to drive impulse purchases and target on-the-go consumers who may not have time to visit a bricks-and-mortar store.

Last year, Lancome, Sephora Collection and Make Up For Ever were among the cosmetics brands featured in FaceCake Marketing Technologies’ cosmetic color search app, ShadeScout, suggesting that top makeup marketers can integrate with search-related apps to reach more consumers (see story).

Cruelty-free cosmetics manufacturer Tarte also integrated with the ShadeScout app, enabling fans to scan items of a particular shade and receive shoppable product suggestions in that color (see story).

It is likely that augmented reality options will continue to proliferate across major beauty brands’ sites and apps.

“There is a direct correlation between product engagement and sales,” Ms. Smith said. “FaceCake provides the frictionless ability to interact with a product similar to being in the store looking in a mirror.

“CAKE is a personalized form of engagement that gives shoppers the confidence to make purchase decisions which leads to more sales.”