Traditionally, in the beauty industry, technology has mainly been used to enhance the product — for example, reimagining formulas, creating vegan recipes, and curating biodegradable bottles. But, with the new intersection of blockchain technology, the focus is shifting from the product to consumer experience. Because of this, we are seeing a change in the beauty consumer journey. According to Use Insider, consumer journey is a path that takes people from not knowing what a product is to purchasing it and becoming a loyal customer. The traditional journey was O+O, which is offline plus online. Now, we are seeing O+O+O, which is offline plus online plus on-chain. From this discovery, it’s apparent that a slight shift in consumer experience can change the trajectory of an entire industry. And since beauty brands are very privy to that fact, they are making significant strides to jump into the Web3 space.
One of the ways they are doing so is by utilizing NFTs to provide exclusive content and experiences to their biggest fans. Luxury brand YSL Beauty launched an NFT project to offer their fans exclusive content. They also teamed up with P00ls to provide exclusive access to music projects from artists like Agathe Mougin, and they have even incorporated a philanthropy aspect by donating a portion of the proceeds to charity. The next step in their project is offering a digital makeup booth for their consumers to explore. YSL isn’t the only one utilizing NFTs for customer experiences — NARS Cosmetics has adopted this business model as well. The company partnered with three Web3 artists to create an NFT that is inspired by their “orgasm blush.” The project consisted of one free NFT and additional ones that could be purchased for $50 or $500. The experiences these beauty brands are offering don’t stop at one-off events. They are presenting full digital experiences in the metaverse too.
One of the brands infiltrating the metaverse is Valdé Beauty. The company released Crystal Armor, their physical refillable lipstick that can only be purchased in the virtual reality space. Once you buy the item, the physical product will be mailed directly to you. Each purchase comes with NFT artwork, 11 lipsticks, and exclusive access to makeup artists associated with the brand. NARS, along with launching their NFT collection, has also been added to the list of beauty brands entering the metaverse. They partnered with Roblox to create the NARS Color Quest adventure within the game. It allowed consumers to collect multiple shades and curate unique makeup looks along with selfies, trending feeds, and dollars to spend at the virtual NARS storefront.
Charlotte Tilbury is also employing the metaverse. The beauty brand curated a virtual wonderland where consumers can interact and engage digitally. They even had a 3D version of the founder that greets everyone as they enter the digital store. There, customers can shop different beauty products and even participate in master makeup classes. Estée Lauder isn’t missing out on the opportunity to provide new metaverse experiences for their consumers either. They curated an NFT project that acted as a POAP (proof of attendance protocol). This allowed customers to get an exclusive wearable for their avatars. The wearable was inspired by their Advanced Night Repair Serum, which gives avatars a glowy effect.
Another way beauty brands are improving their consumer experience through blockchain technology is by providing ways for customers to be a part of viral moments even when physical limitations, like supplies, don’t allow them to. How? Clinique cracked the code after their Almost Lipstick in Black Honey went viral and sold out in stores. Since the physical product was no longer available, they decided to create a Black Honey NFT that allows consumers who weren’t able to get their hands on the product to get a digital version. This is the perfect example of how blockchain technology curates solutions for companies that deal with physical limitations. It allows them to continue to provide experiences to their consumer base even when obstacles like supply chain or shipping are in the way. Beauty companies are going beyond just being a business, they are partnering with other big brands to make a change within different industries, including Web3.
An example of this is L’Oréal teaming up with Meta and French business school HEC to launch a startup accelerator program. The program will be dedicated to those curating new businesses and projects in the metaverse. It will work with at least five startups, and business owners will receive mentorship along with investors for their companies. In addition to L’Oréal’s efforts, NYX is curating the first decentralized record label for beauty creators. They want to provide an ecosystem and more opportunities for creators, redefining the industry within the metaverse.
Though the examples above focus on the consumer benefits of blockchain technology, there are a few perks for the beauty brands themselves, including authentication of products. Many third-party sites sell beauty products at a cheaper price directly to customers, yet most are knock-offs or have a tampered formula. Selling on the blockchain allows for consumers to know they are getting the real thing directly from the company, and brands are then able to eliminate third-party, knock-off retailers. Another perk is cutting down on business overhead costs for supply chain and brick-and-mortar stores. Beauty brands will be able to provide virtual experiences that aren’t limited to the physical world and will cut down the need for physical stores, which also allows for direct consumer purchases instead of buying items in bulk that may not sell. This will result in more profit, and we love a win-win situation!
The beauty industry has been around since the beginning of time and now that blockchain technology is here, it will only further progress the depths that the industry can grow in our everyday lives.