Beauty Store Business

FEB 2019

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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36 February 2019 | beautystorebusiness.com 5G, which is the fifth generation of wireless technology, succeeds 4G, 3G and so on down the line. In summation: 1G gave us mobile phones; 2G allowed us to enjoy messaging; 3G offered greater speed, along with video capability; and 4G made augmented capacity a reality, providing as much as 10 times greater speed. Verizon Wireless says its Ultra Wideband 5G Network will provide up to 100 times better throughput, 10 times the battery life and 1,000 times larger data volume–and will be 10 times more reliable. Data transfer rates are expected to happen many times faster than a blink of an eye, potentially reducing latency to 1 millisecond or less, the company says. Nick Kramer, vice president of digital and analytics for SSA & Co., a business- solutions firm that delivers advanced operating models, says, "5G is fundamentally game-changing" to drive growth, boost profits and build capability. "First, it's about speed. It's like streaming Game of Thrones after spending a week barely able to load Google on the Caribbean hotel Wi-Fi. This means faster time from purchase decision to transaction. Second, it's about content quality. It's like going from standard definition to 4K video. Augmented and virtual reality become a reality. Third, it's about content and community. Your customer can watch a how-to video, FaceTime with friends, read what influencers are saying on Instagram, set their thermostat and purchase product simultaneously, anytime, anywhere." It's going to enable nearly everything we interact with to become a connected device, according to Lucie Greene, world- wide director of The Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, a global marketing firm specializing in research, innovation and data analytics, and the author of Silicon States. "In terms of retail, it will make the world a shopping interface. The connected mirror, the fridge, the car, everything [becomes] pretty much a potential portal, if not for directly shop- ping and consuming entertainment, then for generating data points. Every aspect of human experience will become smart or a data point," Greene explains. New 5G technology will aid beauty retailers in giving their customers personalized, individualized products, experiences and offerings. It will enhance retailers' ability to anticipate customer needs, deliver on their desires and elevate their shopping experiences. It will "usher in the era of immersive beauty experiences," through the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and live streaming, and will increase customer interaction with products, leading to "more organic purchases and less buyer's remorse," says Alice Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp., a leading AR service provider and beauty-app developer, including the popular YouCam apps. THE NEW BEAUTY RETAILING The defining characteristics of 5G, such as unprecedented speed, bandwidth and low latency, are expected to enhance retailer- to-customer engagement, customer-to- product engagement, retailer-to-product engagement and so much more through real-time data, AI, AR, virtual reality (VR), robotics and more. Here are just of a few of the ways it will impact beauty retailing. Customer Data 5G will support biometrics in allowing retailers to employ real-time ability to anticipate customers' shopping behaviors, intuit individualized add-ons and so forth. "You can know who the person is when they approach a specific promotion or merchandising display; and have a much bigger picture of [his or her] previous shopping history and tastes–and be able to respond with contextual offers," Greene explains. Inventory Empowerment 5G technology will enhance retailers' ability to track and manage inventory in real time, including shipments and remote and automatic replenishment, as well as better manage pricing issues and other errors. "5G will allow more sensors, robots, vehicles and warehouses to be online and communicate in real time," Kramer says. "Endless aisles will become a reality with unified inventory. Optimized warehousing based on demand prediction will become enhanced with the ability to do real-time tracking through the value chain and real-time route optimization to shorten delivery cycles and reduce friction." Real-Time, Remote Customer Engagement and Influence Imagine sending personalized promotions to customers that cause them to break from their errand-runs and make a bee- line to your store. Greene says that's the future of retailing. "You'll know where people are in more granular detail and be able to respond with constantly updated, localized and contextual recommendations. So, your customer can be in a car or moving around the city, and your beauty store will know when they're near and be able to send them specific offers or updates intuitively," she explains. New Opportunities Connected devices that allow users to give voice commands to secure information or assistance have taken off in recent years. And Greene believes home hub-type devices, in particular, have great potential in-store. "Clever brands are using that position in the home [for more than driving] customers into stores," says Greene. "[For instance], it's being used in hotel rooms for concierge-type services. It's a real oppor- tunity for stores to create agile service. If you're a sales assistant and unable to help somebody, the hub is a really creative way to add new skills or services in-store." Convenience Greene says that we should expect to see everything from visual recognition being used more intuitively to the face becoming a financial ID or photo recognition being used to search for related items, and sensors being embedded into everything. "The expectations of personalization are [getting] higher. Let's not forget that people were concerned about biometric data, and now people are using their face and their thumbprints as ID to get into phones. The convenience is the seductive carrot there. And once you get used to the convenience it becomes easier to let go of privacy fears. [Subsequently], brands are going to have to determine when it's helpful for creating new customer relationships and when it's just creepy." THE ENHANCED IN-STORE EXPERIENCE Experts see the in-store experience being transformed in a number of different ways. Bye-Bye Messy, Cluttered Store Envi- ronments: "We are working with retailers all over the world to reimagine the in-store experience through virtual on-site activa- tions," Chang says. "These integrated "We are working with retailers all over the world to reimagine the in-store experience through virtual on-site activations." -Alice Chang, CEO, Perfect Corp. Lucie Greene Alice Chang From top: ipopba, gettyimages.com, courtesy of J. Walker Thompson Worldwide, Perfect Core

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