LVMH-owned travel retailer DFS has teamed up with Estée Lauder to transform fans into influencers with an omnichannel initiative, the #BeautyAllNight campaign, which brings together in-store activations with digital touchpoints via Chinese messaging platform WeChat. Beauty marketers have embraced technology-enabled efforts to enhance traditional counter trials and experiences with great success.
“One of the things I always talk about with retailers is that you’ll be more successful if you blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds,” said Dave Rodgerson, retail industry executive at Microsoft Canada, Toronto. “In the physical store they are creating a digital experience. That does a few things—it is more engaging, there’s fun to that, and it is entertainment. That always draws people back to the store.
“The other thing, from a data perspective, is that when consumers try on products in this fashion [brands are] able to measure the products used and the combinations. You have situations where if you had sat down with a cosmetician you would have the same experience, but it would not be as quick and [the brand] would not be able to record the data.”
Mr. Rodgerson is not affiliated with DFS or Estée Lauder, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. DFS was reached for comment.
Selfies to share
DFS and Estée Lauder were inspired by the popularity of online beauty tutorials. To bring the concept in-store DFS is leveraging the abilities of its WeChat to enhance consumer interaction with the #BeautyAllNight concept.
The campaign follows three travelers visiting New York, Venice, Italy, and Hong Kong. The friends are shown unpacking, applying travel beauty essentials, and snapping selfies to share on social media. As a travel-based retailer, it is important for DFS to keep this authentic connection because consumers often come across its storefronts in airport terminals.
Travelers are encouraged to use WeChat to become part of the DFS x Estée Lauder campaign. Followers of DFS’ WeChat channel can place themselves within the campaign and share on social media using the #BeautyAllNight hashtag.
In a digital beauty first, according to the brands, #BeautyAllNight uses WeChat’s facial recognition technology to apply a “staying in” or “going out” Estée Lauder beauty look on users’ faces. Once a look is selected, she can pick Estée Lauder products to virtually try on. Consumers can choose from the DFS-exclusive Love of Night set or Pure Color Love lipsticks. The completed virtual try-on selfie can be shared on WeChat Moments.
A similar try-on effort was developed in the United Kingdom market using augmented reality makeup application YouCam. Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Love lipstick line, a new range, was also the focus for the campaign.
“Today’s beauty shopper wants to see, test and share her next beauty look before even stepping into the store to purchase,” said Ariel Gentzbourger, senior vice president of beauty, fragrances and wellbeing at DFS, in a statement. “She crowdsources everything, from where she should stop to what are the must-have products, often trusting peer-to-peer recommendations above all else.
“We’re proud to partner with Estée Lauder to harness the power of the social network and deliver this beauty digital first on WeChat with our #BeautyAllNight campaign,” she said. “We’re confident that through this innovative online approach we’ll drive awareness and engagement of these beauty essentials in-store with the growing millennial segment.”
Aside from its digital efforts, DFS locations will hold dedicated #BeautyAllNight pop-ups at T Galleria by DFS locations in Hong Kong, Hawaii and Macau. Campaign activations will also be found at T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS in Venice, Italy and DFS in Los Angeles.
Estée Lauder’s exclusive Love of Night set, featuring its most popular skincare products from the Advanced Night Repair line, will be available at a 30 percent discount for the extent of the month-long campaign at DFS.
Wish you were here
DFS’s T Galleria has developed other efforts that immerse consumers in its brand and the products it sells.
For example, T Galleria’s spring 2017 campaign, “Love of Travel,” featured British model Alex Libby and Hong Kong fashion blogger Cindy Ko. The pair was shown as they explored the maze of Venice’s streets and canals.
From March to May, consumers can immerse themselves in the spring 2017 campaign at DFS’ 17 airport and 18 downtown T Galleria storefronts, as well as online and on social media. DFS’ Web site, for example, featured a 360-degree video that transported viewers to Venice landmarks such as the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Harry’s Bar and T Fondaco dei Tedeschi. In-store activations included window displays and photo opportunities to bring the spirit of Venice to life.
“Because most of the time consumers buy based on word-of-mouth, or digital word-of-mouth, and one of the cool things about an app such as [WeChat], is that you can take the image and share with your circle of friends,” Microsoft Canada’s Rodgerson said.
“What that does is generate more interest among this community of users who come into the retailer or use Estée Lauder products, and the conversation becomes broader rather than a single friend talking to a friend,” he said. “Sharing among friends [online] is much broader than sharing in the physical world.
“It is a trend to look to others to get vote of confidence, whether it is cosmetics or electronics, [brands] will be more successful if a conversation is enabled through interaction.”