- Estée Lauder, the cosmetics brand whose sales grew 10% to $3.27 billion in the most recent quarter from a year earlier, partnered with augmented reality (AR) developer Perfect Corp. to create a mobile training program for live makeup demonstrations, according to a press release. The program leverages Perfect's YouCam app.
- The interactive stream lets Estée Lauder's global education team host real-time product briefings for the brand's 17,000 "beauty advisers" worldwide, who can engage with the content from their smartphones. The brand can also track attendance, engagement and performance of the trainers and participants.
- Estée Lauder tested its first YouCam AR training segment on Dec. 7 for more than 600 brand employees throughout the world. The cosmetics brand trained them on how to engage potential customers and sell its new Perfectionist Pro Rapid Firm + Lift Treatment through the mobile platform.
Estée Lauder and Perfect this year worked together to create interactive mobile experiences for the beauty brand's products, which let consumers virtually try on different makeup looks. With this latest partnership, the companies are using AR technology for internal training purposes, which are expected to soon be a major part of how companies apply AR and virtual reality (VR).
Commercial sectors will represent more than 60% of AR/VR spending next year and grow to more than 85% of the worldwide total by 2021, according to an estimate by the International Data Corporation. The researcher forecast that total AR/VR spending will nearly double next year to $17.8 billion, including commercial and consumer uses.
"There is currently a huge appetite from companies that see tremendous potential in the technology, from product design to retail sales to employee training," Tom Mainelli, program vice president of devices and AR/VR at IDC, said in a statement.
On the consumer side, Estée Lauder has been putting more resources into its mobile offerings this year, including through a chatbot for lipstick advice, adding AR to its mobile site and partnering with WeChat. The company in April initiated its partnership with Perfect's YouCam mobile app with the introduction of its Pure Color Love lipstick experience. The app lets customers virtually try on 30 lip shades in 30 seconds.
This month, Estée Lauder announced a YouCam "Look Transfer" feature as part of an influencer campaign for its new line of lip color. The technology recognizes the makeup shades used on models in the ads and lets the consumer re-create the look and virtually try it on. This will debut for consumers in-store and through the YouCam app in 2018.