Whole Foods Launches AR Cosmetics Try-On Tool

The new tool leverages a partnership between cosmetics brand Mineral Fusion and Perfect Corp.

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Need to Know

  • Perfect Corp. has partnered with beauty brand Mineral Fusion to offer a virtual cosmetics try-on tool to shoppers at Whole Foods stores.
  • Shoppers will be able to scan a QR code on Mineral Fusion’s beauty display at Whole Foods, and then visit a Whole Foods landing page to virtually try on Mineral Fusion products using their phones.
  • The try-on tool is also available on MineralFusion.com to non-Whole Foods shoppers.

Analysis

Whole Foods is joining a growing number of retailers looking to engage their customers with virtual try-on tech, offering in-store shoppers the ability to virtually sample color cosmetics from Mineral Fusion.

The new tool, which leverages a partnership between Perfect Corp., the leading beauty technology and AR provider, and Mineral Fusion, requires Whole Foods shoppers to scan a QR code on Mineral Fusion’s in-store display at Whole Foods. Shoppers are then redirected to a designated Whole Foods landing page that allows shoppers to “try on” cosmetics from the brand using Perfect Corp.’s YouCam technology, via their smartphone camera, before purchasing items from the brand in-store.

This launch of the try-on tool comes as consumers are returning to in-store shopping, and retailers are looking for new, digital-focused ways to engage their customers that reflect a new need for contactless in-store interactions.

“The virtual try-on tool is a safer alternative to testers allowing online and brick-and-mortar customers to find the products and the shades of their choice. Shoppers can try on shades using a preselected model image, uploading a photo, or even via live cameras,” Stella Huang, director of digital marketing for Mineral Fusion, said in a statement. “Mineral Fusion is thrilled to partner with the industry-leading solution provider Perfect Corp. and the leading natural retailer Whole Foods to help customers find the perfect shades of their favorite cosmetic items, no matter how or where they choose to shop.”

Amy Jargo, global beauty buyer at Whole Foods, said in a statement that the new tool is reflective of “significant consumer shifts this year due to COVID-19.”

“Customers are looking to streamline their beauty routines,” Jargo continued, “while also seeking out brands that align with their values like those that limit their environmental impact with waterless and upcycled products.”

AR try-on technology spiked in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, as beauty and cosmetics brands sought out ways to engage their consumers amid widespread store closures. Cosmetics companies including L’Oreal and retailers like Sephora launched virtual try-on tools for products ranging from nail polish to hair dye. Many of these tools were launched in partnership with major retailers or tech companies: Pinterest made AR try-on available from Sephora, as well as Estee Lauder and Neutrogena, while L’Oreal partnered with Amazon — which owns Whole Foods — to launch try-on tech for its color cosmetics on that platform in June of last year. Perfect Corp., meanwhile, launched an AR try-on tool for eyeglasses earlier this year.

The launch of the AR try-on tool is the first significant innovation from Whole Foods since the company opened a number of temporary online-only stores, or “dark stores”, to meet rising e-commerce demands brought on by COVID-19 earlier last year. Whole Foods opened its first permanent dark store in Brooklyn in September; however, the company said plans for the store had been in the works pre-COVID.

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