L’Oréal is expanding its usage of AR and AI, now letting shoppers use their smartphones to virtually try on Garnier Nutrisse and Garnier Olia products, according to The Wall Street Journal. Virtual try-on services make customers 3X as likely to ultimately make a purchase, according to Lubomira Roche, CFO of L’Oréal.
The technology harnesses Google Lens image recognition to identify the product and activate the try-on service, which is powered by ModiFace. The service is available wherever Garnier products are sold, but 500 Walmart stores will feature signage that explains how the try-on capabilities work.
L’Oréal acquired Modiface in April 2018 specifically to use its AR and AI tools with the beauty retailer’s own products. The two companies have worked together since 2012, and L’Oréal made the purchase after appreciating AR’s potential for the brand.
“We realized that AR and AI would really change the consumer experience for L’Oréal and the industry,” said Rochet in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “We decided that partnership was not enough. We really wanted to source that capability internally.”
The AR efforts have been paying off: sales at L’Oréal hit €22 billion (approximately $24.7 billion USD) between January and September 2019, up 8% compared to the same period in 2018. E-Commerce sales (up 49%) were a major growth driver and could have been helped along by customers having a chance to try before they buy.
Shoppers using the ModiFace app try an average of 20 different shades of makeup, according to Rochet. Web sites including Amazon and Sephora’s e-Commerce shop let customers try out products including lipstick, eye shadow and foundation using the technology, and the same features are available on in-store tablets at Sephora’s stores.