Smashbox Cosmetics and Modiface have partnered on a virtual makeup try on mobile app with an eye-tracking component that allows Smashbox to track which portions of the mobile screen app users are looking at the most, according to a Modiface press release.
The technology, part of Smashbox's MAKEUP iOS app, provides the retailer the ability to create a heat map of the screen areas receiving the most attention, and drive development of insights that can be leveraged in future customer experience and marketing strategies, according to Essential Retail.
Smashbox and Modiface ran a test of the effectiveness of the eye-tracking technology involving more than 8,000 app users and found it could increase conversions by about 27% by leveraging its knowledge of user attention patterns.
To further explain the test that led to the impressive conversions gain, the partners divided 8,819 mobile users into two groups. For one set of users, they put a call-to-action button for purchasing products in a very visible position — regardless of where user gaze was directed — near the top of the page.
For the second set of users, the call-to-action button was hidden and only displayed when the user tried on and read the name of a specific product. It was observed that the conversion rate increased from 6.2% with the button highly visible to 7.9% (a 27% increase) when the button was displayed after the user had finished reading the name of the product — as determined by eye gaze.
A capability like this could help brands and retailers more specifically and strategically plan how they want to use very limited real estate within their mobile apps. It is also the latest in a string of innovative augmented reality mobile app features from Modiface, the company which is behind Sephora's Virtual Artist application. More recently, Modiface also enabled an augmented reality lipstick advisor for Estee Lauder.
While the eye-tracking technology seems like a natural fit in apps that have users employing their smartphones as if they were makeup mirrors, the is the first time we have heard of it amid Modiface's numerous app rollouts. It will be interesting to see where the eye-tracking technology goes from here, if other Modiface partners adopt as well, or other retail mobile apps seek to enable something similar.