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StyleSeat sees 60pc of bookings made via mobile, prompting a redesign

Featuring larger photos and an easier booking process, users can now make last-minute appointments as well as reference previous bookings and easily re-book. While a single photograph garners 1,000 words, developers of the app believed the use of more images, rather than reviews in text format, would give users better insight into the work of each stylist.

“We have found that highlighting the amazing work of our professionals helps clients make a decision on whom to book with,” Melody McCloskey, co-founder and CEO of StyleSeat, San Francisco. “Reviews are helpful and important, but photos really showcase a beauty professional’s talent.”

Beauty bliss?
StyleSeat executives first saw a need for an app given the prevalence of mobile bookings using the site. Before the redesign, users could browse reviews on participating stylists (see story).

Now, the app provides more photos of stylists’ previous work, making it easier to find a stylist the consumer likes.

There are new ways to search on the app, as users can search by a service, such as color, braids or a blowout. When users perform a search, stylists are listed according to availability in case the user needs an appointment immediately.

Mobile users are busier than ever, and it has become inconvenient to find time researching a cosmetologist. By simplifying this process even further, StyleSeat is likely to recruit new users and keep its existing client base coming back.

If a search tool was not enough, users can now pay through the app as well as manage their entire booking history in one place in the My Appointments tab.

Beauty on wheels
Beauty is increasingly becoming a sector on mobile that consumers are prevalently using. Whether it be through an app or the use of augmented reality, beauty brands have seen success by offering digital capabilities to female mobile users.

In April, Canadian retailer Lux Beauty Boutique upped in-store sales 20-25 percent this year for an anniversary sale thanks to the addition of a self-checkout mobile application.

Lux Beauty Boutique has been using the SelfPay mobile application since last year, and the most recent findings about mobile shopping took place during Lux’s 14th anniversary event on April 12. The in-store mobile app is the brand’s first foray into mobile commerce (see story).

In June, Sephora, a leading specialty retailer in beauty announced partnership in the Milan location launch of a new 3D augmented reality mirror by ModiFace that simulates cosmetics on a user’s face photo-realistically in real-time, with expectations to transform how women shop for cosmetics.

The augmented reality technology, which was first debuted at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, expects to make color testing easier by simulating makeup products on a user’s face to show what they would look like in real-time and without having to upload a photo. Created by ModiFace, the technology is also being introduced to standalone retail kiosks equipped with a touchscreen monitor and camera, as well as a mobile application that can be used on tablets at beauty counters or on consumers’ own handheld devices. While 2D try-on tech has been increasing in popularity among online and in-store merchants, ModiFace said 3D is naturally progressive step (see story).

By approaching its business in a different way through the redesign, it is clear that StyleSeat executives are thinking like consumers to deliver the most seamless experience possible.

“This new design brings the talent of beauty stylists to the forefront and simplifies the client experience even more than before.”

Final Take?
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York