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Sally Hansen polishes mobile sales via ManiMatch app

Sally Hansen is aiming to ramp up mobile sales by introducing the ManiMatch application, which allows beauty enthusiasts to use a scanning feature to try on more than 200 nail polish shades before receiving personalized color suggestions and the option to purchase their favorites.

The manufacturer is leveraging augmented reality technology to allow users to scan their hands with their smartphones and curate their own color selections for a virtual manicure. Once consumers have identified which shades complement their skin tone the best, they may purchase them within the app, a strategy that will likely strongly impact the brand’s mobile sales.

“We wanted to give consumers a chance to engage with Sally Hansen and with the launch of ManiMatch in a new and unexpected way,” said Jeremy Lowenstein, vice president of global marketing at Sally Hansen, New York. “We know that gamification is an on-going trend in the digital space and in exchange for social currency, consumers would be able to not only experience trying on nail polish in the virtual world but in real life with a free manicure.

“Leveraging social media is an integral part of the launch and ongoing support behind ManiMatch as we know that women love to share their nail looks with friends and family. It is their form of ultimate self expression.”

Discovery shopping experience
Users will not have to snap photos of their hand and upload them into the app to try on the colors, which may persuade more individuals to test out the technology. Instead, they may scan their fingers and immediately receive personalized suggestions to complement their skin tones.

The app is able to analyze pigments and match its shade options to the colors best-suited to a customer’s skin. Sally Hansen recognizes that the decision-making process can be the most harrowing during a shopping experience, and is hoping to lessen hassle for consumers by making the trial-before-purchase as easy as possible.

“The ManiMatch app launched by Sally Hansen has a huge potential to drive consumers to purchase,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta. “As any woman knows, going in to get a manicure, you always stop and look at the hundreds of polish choices sitting on the shelf and tentatively choose a color hoping it will look like it does in the bottle once applied (this method is a 50/50 chance of being the color you expected).

“With an augmented reality app to scan your hand and apply colors, this process becomes much easier for consumers. I would predict a very large following and viral effect from this app.”

Users may now experiment with a variety of the more than 200 Sally Hansen shades available, which typically leads to consumer trying on colors outside of their comfort zone, per the manufacturer.

Shoppers will also likely end up happier with their overall purchases, as they can feel secure in knowing they like the shade’s look on their own hands.

ManiMatch’s technology uses an algorithm to map users’ hands and locate the nail beds to superimpose the colors to appear as a virtual manicure. Shade options will be suggested from all of Sally Hansen’s lines, including Complete Salon Manicure, Miracle Gel, Xtreme Wear and Insta-Dri.

The app is available for download for iOS devices currently, with an Android rollout planned for later this fall.

Driving commerce
The inexpensive nature of nail polish lends itself well to fueling impulse purchases, particularly when consumers are given the opportunity to fall in love with a color and buy it with a few clicks on their smartphones.

“This will be a good opportunity for Sally Hansen to collect data on customer reactions to colors,” said Nadine Spuls, director of business development at Atimi, Vancouver, Canada. “By including a ‘like’ option of colors that are tried on and not just of the ones that are purchased, trending colors can more easily be distinguished.

“By offering the stick-on line of nails in this fashion, consumers will be exposed to patterns and designs they would have never purchased in the store. Sally Hansen is likely to see an increase in sales of ‘daring’ and ‘bold’ polishes and stick-ons.”

To kick off the app’s launch, Sally Hansen threw a pop-up party in New York City this past weekend. The brand showcased a “social currency” vending machine at the event, which rewarded attendees who posted about it on Twitter or Facebook with free nail polish samples.

Manicurists also provided complimentary manicures to guests, aided by the ManiMatch app’s color recommendations.

Sally Hansen is not the only beauty marketer leveraging mobile technology to increase sales of products.

Lancome, Sephora Collection and Make Up For Ever are 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).

“Mobile is a fast-growing channel through which consumers engage with brands,” Sally Hansen’s Mr. Lowenstein said. “Therefore, it is important that we are with her in that space as a key consumer touch point.

“The launch of ManiMatch will serve as one of the key touch points for us on mobile both with its initial launch and through all subsequent enhancements we will make to it in the months and years to come. This is a long-term investment for the brand.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York