In the last 18 months or so, we have seen rapid digitization in the way we work, socialize, and shop. From independent brands to beauty multinationals, companies accelerated the digital push to survive the pandemic.
Beauty giant L’Oréal launched a Lancôme online store to better connect and interact with consumers in a contactless world.
The virtual stores were recreated using extreme photorealism and featured interactive elements such as mini-games and live tours organized by celebrities and influencers who appeared as avatars in the virtual world.
The store, which launched in South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia, was accessible via a variety of devices, including computers, smartphones and tablets.
Since the launch of Lancôme, there has been an average nine-year decrease in the age of consumers and an increase of around 350% in consumer participation time.
Today, even as beauty brands begin to welcome consumers back, Noam Levavi believes consumers will still want to shop in an ultra-realistic retail experience from the comfort of their home.
“I think we’ll never come back,”Said Levavi, CEO and founder of ByondXR, an extended reality (XR) company that partnered with L’Oréal to create the aforementioned Lancôme online store.
“We could go back more to visiting stores or traveling around the world, but the digital space you know will only increase and in a way that is beyond our imagination.”
The future is now
Experiences like the Lancôme store are just the beginning of the virtual shopping experience, which according to him is only limited by the hardware we currently have.
“There are different engines today that can produce photorealistic environments and you can create 3D scenes, but the devices are limited by what they can produce and show us. Nowadays, most people only use their mobile devices and maybe desktops and iPads. So you have a small two-dimensional screen to deal with. ” said Levavi.
He highlighted companies such as Microsoft and Apple that are currently building tools such as glasses and headphones to bring this reality to life.
“They are building the next evolution of the computer platform. What will happen is that our reality will be our screen and this will open up completely new forms of immersion. For example, I can make a living, but I’m actually in a different world, like a flagship store on the moon. “
While this scene may seem like a distant future, Levavi believes we’ll start seeing the first versions of this technology starting next year.
With devices like smart glasses ready to become ubiquitous like the smartphone or smartwatch, Levavi highlights how the way people are perceived will become increasingly digital and create a wavy effect. in the fashion and beauty industries.
“Imagine walking down the street in a black T-shirt. In the very near future, as we introduce more digital elements, I could switch between 10 different t-shirts. You can change them on the fly depending on who is looking at you, where you are, what time of day … You don’t need to buy any physical items. “
This technology could be applied to items other than clothing packaging. Imagine downloading a digital lipstick case designed by an artist or celebrity like BTS.
These things aren’t too hard to imagine now, given that people are already paying millions to get a non-fungible witness (NFT).
“People think it’s a joke, to buy something virtual, but it’s like buying a piece of art, a beautiful painting for my living room that someone created for me and that I have. This will also happen in the virtual space. We are already seeing it in niche areas like the game ”. said Levavi.
“I think that’s what’s going to happen in the next few years and it’s going to change the way we see the design and purchase of a product dramatically.”