Sephora has rolled out new features for its branded Virtual Artist application, including a false eyelash virtual try-on function that includes more than 90 styles, as well as virtual tutorials using augmented reality technology.
The lash feature joins Sephora's virtual lipstick try-on, which launched earlier this year and so far has allowed users to try more than 70 million lip shades digitally, the beauty retailer said.
Sephora also now offers Virtual Artist on Messenger, a version of the app in chatbot form for messaging services like Snapchat and Kik, allowing users to send any lip shade, brand, color or format for product recommendations.
Beauty is being an aggressive beast as retailers adopt virtual and augmented reality technology, as well as chatbots, in their quest for e-commerce sales boosts and improved customer interactions online.
Sephora launched the Virtual Artist app back in February. Among other beauty firms making this migration, Modiface has used similar technologies through Facebook Messenger. While some retailers might be wondering if their customers need virtual reality headsets to use virtual apps, and might not even know the first thing about chatbots, Sephora is among those that already sees exactly how these technologies can offer added value to its customers.
"Live Tutorials are a revolutionary new way to learn new application techniques and trends, on your own face, one step at a time," Sephora VP of Innovation Bridget Dolan said in a press release. "The ability to leverage this exclusive augmented reality technology to mirror our Sephora store makeover experience on your own device is a game changer for our users."
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Sephora has gotten so far so fast, considering its investment to create the Sephora Innovation Lab in San Francisco. It seems to understand that retailers, especially those needing to make the transition from the brick-and-mortar world to e-commerce, need a bit of the ethos displayed by Silicon Valley tech startups: Be aggressive, act like an entrepreneur, fail fast (if you need to), and be open to how technology can change your world view and your assumptions to accomplish great things for your business.
Other retailers would do well to follow these notions.