“Sometimes part of the experience for the consumer is just trying something on. Ultimately, as a brand you would like to think that it leads to conversion, but it could also be the early part of the funnel,” says Drinkwater. Clinique/Estée Lauder Companies Drinkwater highlights the ability to shop with friends as a feature that will stand out. One of the biggest challenges with virtual reality is that “it remains quite an isolated experience. But when you introduce a social element, it feels much more like the kind of experience you would have in the real world, because you can recreate the fun of getting instant feedback from your friends.”
Clinique isn’t tracking success through quantity of sales but through customer feedback and satisfaction, which is a shift for the brand, says Baker. Customers come to the brand beyond product advice and seek tips for caring for their skin and other skincare concerns. Over the past week, the brand has registered a high customer satisfaction rate of over 95 per cent. A virtual end-to-end shopping experience is here to stay. “We still want to go to the cinema. But that doesn’t remove our dependency on Netflix, which offers the convenience for users to stream and discover new genres. That’s something consumers have become comfortable with, and that’s very much what we’re expecting within the beauty world as well,” says Estée Lauder’s De Simone.
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Comments, questions or feedback? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. “The reality is that brands will need to build these experiences into our lifestyle. Retailers of the future will need to be better equipped to deal with all of our needs and serve consumers whenever and however they want to engage with them,” says Drinkwater.
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