- Madison Reed now offers free video color consultations with its licensed colorists, the company announced April 28.
- Customers can use the service to ask a licensed colorist about home hair color best practices, pick their desired shade and receive step-by-step guidance for at-home coloring, the company said.
- The consultations are available through customers' web browsers on their computers or mobile phones, per the announcement.
Madison Reed has maintained a socially distant connection with its customers, even as the COVID-19 pandemic created in-person shopping and cosmetology concerns. In addition to launching its remote hair coloring consultations, the brand saw a spike in its e-commerce business and introduced its men's product as the coronavirus disrupted in-salon service. Now that salons are reopening, the company has seen an uptick in sales from its brick-and-mortar color bars.
That connection seems to have fueled more support from investors. Earlier this year, the brand raised $52 million to support its "omnichannel expansion." The company said it grew last year by 130% and almost doubled its customer base.
Madison Reed is one of many retailers, including Neiman Marcus, David's Bridal and Lowe's, that have deployed staffers to provide virtual consultations for homebound shoppers. As retailers were forced to close their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, they leaned on tech tools and virtual consultations to engage with remote consumers.
While Madison Reed has taken the virtual consultation route, others in the cosmetics industry such as L'Oreal, Perfect Corp., Essie and ModiFace have increasingly relied on tech tools to modify or recreate the in-store cosmetic testing experience. Even tech companies like Snapchat, Pinterest and Google have integrated beauty tech tools into platforms. Experts told Retail Dive that the AR features have yet to drive large-scale sales, but the shift toward virtual technology could be worth the investment as the beauty business model changes.