Guest post by Estella Benz, CEO / Co-Founder of Skin Match Technology Switzerland AG
Many cosmetics retailers with a heavy focus on offline stores have lost up to 80 per cent of sales during the pandemic with its doors forced closed. But as the situation begins to relax the rules of social distancing between customers and sales reps, facial masks and limited numbers of customers in stores present retailers with a new challenge. Retailers are increasingly considering digital tools to navigate toward a “new normal” in which they can safely make sales to stay afloat.
New technologies can aid in “social-distance selling” by helping retailers limit physical contact, reduce time spent in stores, avoid large groups of people. Some of these technologies are still unproven; others are in the early stages of adoption. But use cases suggest they can help retailers recoup sales and increase customer confidence. As of April, 89 per cent of shoppers had concerns about shopping in physical stores according to a survey by payments service Fast.
Connecting consumers through mobile
Customizable mobile beauty scanners will facilitate in-store selling through self-service. Skin Match Technology, a Swiss software technology company specifically focused on the needs of cosmetics retail, has developed new solutions for the retail industry during the lockdown. Their Online Advisor was transformed into a Mobile Scanner, which allows consumers to receive advice on their own mobile device. Retailers can within days distribute QR Codes in their Stores and consumers can activate the scanner on their own mobile devices. The customer expresses his/her needs and then scans the products’ barcodes for customised advice. The required distance to the staff is kept and the customer receives all the information in order to carry out a successful purchase. DUFRY Duty-Free the biggest player in the Duty-Free market has already committed to using the Mobile Beauty Scanners of Skin Match Technology as soon as high-frequency airports reopen their storefronts.
As businesses reopen during the relaxation, health and safety are top of mind. Occupancy counting solutions such as livealytics’ Cloud Counter can keep a precise and automatic tally of the number of people at any location. Accurate counting is crucial for a reliable calculation, especially in small areas with high frequencies. Cloud Counter’s sensor technology is 98% accurate, and data collection is completely anonymous. This means that employees can focus on customer service and sales, and customers can be confident that they are in a safe zone. In addition, visitor count, frequency, and dwell times are valuable data and a solid basis for shopper engagement metrics. Reliable in-store analytics are increasingly important for retail strategy decisions, in particular, as the COVID-19 disruption accelerates the global shift towards e-commerce.
Skin Match Technology combines data from cosmetic retailers and brands with the needs of end consumers and delivers personalized and transparent product information. The software solutions offered are available via app, iPads or websites of various cosmetic brands and shops and can be used across the board by consumers. As a central database for product and ingredients, they offer not only software solutions but also product data, ingredient declarations and market research analyzes. Skin Match Technology Switzerland AG is a certified Swiss software company based in the Canton of Zurich.