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Jennifer TidyVice President, PartnershipsModiface
Modiface is an augmented reality technology provider that builds tools for beauty marketers, such as Sephora and L’Oréal, that allow consumers to virtually try on products through a brand’s mobile app, website and in-store tablets. eMarketer’s Yory Wurmser spoke with Jennifer Tidy, Modiface’s vice president of partnerships, about how much demand there really is for augmented reality and the right place for retailers to install the technology in-store.
eMarketer: What’s the level of interest in technologies like Modiface among retailers?
Jennifer Tidy: The retail industry is slower to adopt this type of technology. It has more of a presence online and in mobile apps vs. in-store, but retailers are launching more in brick and mortar. As the technology expands, more retailers are adopting some form of technology in their stores.
eMarketer: What is the key to success for installing an augmented reality tool in a retail setting?
Tidy: We tell our clients who utilize the technology in-store to make sure that the user flow is easy to understand and fun. If you take people through a maze, they’ll give up and walk away. Also, put it where people will see it and want to approach it, such as a well-lit environment that’s close to the entrance of the store.
eMarketer: When did interest in Modiface hit a tipping point?
Tidy: Over the last few years, this type of technology has become a huge component in brands’ marketing initiatives. It became more of a need for brands vs. a nice-to-have. We’ve seen an increase in interest, usage and presence of the technology.
eMarketer: Have you witnessed more interest in augmented reality since the release of Pokémon Go?
Tidy: The interest in augmented reality has spiked since the launch of Pokémon Go. There’s not an exact correlation between that and our type of technology, because they are vastly different in their use cases and the demographics of their users. But Pokémon Go put augmented reality on the map, and now people understand what it is, what it does and why it’s fun.
eMarketer: What does Modiface’s technology allow consumers to do?
Tidy: Modiface simulates the real results of products on your uploaded photo or a live view of yourself so you can see the before and after prior to purchasing. For example, Sephora uses the technology for cosmetics. If a lipstick has a sheen, sparkle or glossy finish, users see that on themselves with our technology. There are also tutorials to showcase how a product can be applied, the ability to share your results on social media and the ability to purchase a product [in that moment].
eMarketer: What are the different use cases for Modiface’s technology?
Tidy: If the technology is in a brand’s mobile app or website, you can use it from the comfort of your home and make a purchase through the app. Or, you can narrow down some options and go to the store to try them on.
The technology is also used in-store. When you’re in the brick-and-mortar setting, you’re able to sample numerous products and color options at once. You look at a screen and you instantly see the results rather than uploading a photo. This simplifies the process and keeps people playing longer.
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