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Google Launches YouTube’s AR Beauty Try-On And It’s Just The Beginning

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Ar beauty try on banuba

Last week Google gave another boost to the AR beauty industry bringing the AR Beauty Try-On experience to YouTube. With this, viewers can virtually try on makeup while watching their favorite MUA artists and shop for cosmetics right from YouTube.

How does the tool impact the makeup industry?

In a nutshell, YouTube’s AR ads can revolutionize the influential marketing and paid advertising, making the virtual try-on experience for beauty brands — a must in the very near future.

This post covers YouTube’s AR Beauty Try On feature and explains why brands need to focus their future marketing strategies on augmented reality.

How does YouTube’s AR Beauty Try On work?

The feature is available through FameBit, Google’s in-house branded content platform that joints brands and YouTube creators.

The AR Beauty Try On tool creates a split screen in YouTube placing the front-facing camera that offers realistic virtual product representation next to the original video content provided by the MUA artist. While the MUA artist applies one lipstick, the viewer can try a variety of shades of that same product.

The camera works like a mirror allowing you to browse different lipstick colors and try them in augmented reality in a tap.

Famebit_MAC_ AR beauty try on

The tool works on a full range of skin tones, and Google has already demoed the tool with several beauty brands. MAC Cosmetics has become the first brand to launch an AR Beauty Try-On campaign.

While being in alpha testing, the update gives a second wind to the paid sponsorship. Now brands can partner with content creators and get their products advertised in large numbers.

Aaron Luber, Google’s Head of Branded Experiences for AR & VR explains, how brands can benefit of AR Beauty Try On. 

“Brands can tap into YouTube’s vibrant creator community, deploy influencer campaigns to YouTube’s 2 billion monthly active users, and measure their results in real time.”

According to prior testing, 30% of viewers launched the AR Try-On feature in the YouTube iOS app. The average session length has reached 80 seconds.

AR Beauty Try On Boom Won’t End Anytime Soon

The time when virtual try on becomes the main way for people to shop is just around the corner, and here are the implications for that.

Consumers now prefer to shop with AR

The 2018 Digital Commerce Survey provides some interesting insights on how augmented reality can impact the customer experience.

  • 51% of consumers feel it is important to get a personalized experience across all digital channels within a brand.

  • 48% of consumers would be more likely to shop at a retailer that utilizes augmented reality.

  • 32% of retailers plan to utilize augmented reality within three years. Given the fast-changing market trends and numerous brands adopting AR at a fast pace, these numbers may increase exponentially.

Virtual try on apps build the experience around the camera allowing consumers to see how realistic virtual product samples look on them.

With face detection technology paired with face analytics, virtual try on software can suggest the best products based on particular consumer needs enabling a better and quicker shopping experience.

AR is the most engaging form of content

Vertebrae's research compared the user experience with different forms of content and highlighted AR as the most engaging form that beats the 2D, 3D product images and video.

  • 78% of respondents would rather interact with AR than watch a 30-second video.

  • AR is 2.6x more engaging than static 2D imagery and 2.1x more engaging than video.

The two major reasons why AR is so effective are its novelty and the ability to create context.

The images provide just the physical information about the product while AR highlights how it relates to the user. While wearing a product virtually, consumers develop a sense of product ownership.

The virtual try on shows how the particular product relates to a consumer. And that’s why it’s second to none in establishing the right context and providing the incentives for a consumer to own it in reality.

Virtual try on increases ROI

Over recent years, many leading brands have been adopting augmented reality technology to enable virtual try on service for their products. The most successful virtual try ons that brought a significant ROI increase:

  • L’oreal released its first virtual cosmetics try on app Makeup Genious in 2014. The app has been downloaded over 35 mln times and has become the №1 lifestyle app in 47 countries. It got about 260m virtual product trials that led to conversions increase.

  • Olay, the skincare brand, has doubled its sales conversions, reduced its bounce rate for online visitors by 1/3 and increased average basket size due to the AI Skin Advisor platform released back in 2016, according to VentureBeat’s report.

  • MAC Cosmetics has launched the virtual try-on mirrors in its physical stores across the country. The company expects a 31% sales increase due to AR-powered in-store experience.

  • Macy's, an American department store chain, will expand its mobile virtual try on letting consumers to try on over a thousand makeup items from major brands. The expansion follows a successful test of lip products with a small number of users. Jill Ramsey, Chief Digital Officer at Macy's, said 2/3 of online traffic and half of digital sales come from mobile devices, making its app users the "most loyal customer," per Adweek.

Summing up

As more and more brands empower their customer service with virtual try ons, in-store AR mirrors and machine-learning based apps, the customers’ expectations change too. More people are giving their preference to AR shopping now.

The use of face tracking, machine learning and AR technologies to enable the virtual try-on option is big business for the beauty industry. Tech giants like Google make it possible to implement AR makeup try on on a large scale.  

From the brands' perspective, YouTube is just one platform for consumer outreach. The time will tell how well it goes, but one thing is clear. The virtual makeup try-on boom is here, and cosmetic brands need to adjust their strategies for AR-guided shopping.

ALSO READ: Virtual Beauty Makeover Software That Women Hate And Like

 

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