Without data on individuals and their preferences, needs or habits, personalisation is not possible. However, at a time when consumers are more aware than ever before of what their personal data means to them and to those who use it, collecting beauty and wellness data from consumers raises many questions. This means there are certain things that must be considered and tackled to ensure transparency and customer faith so that beauty personalisation can be of high benefit to everyone involved.
Beauty is becoming evermore linked with notions of health and wellbeing. It seems funny to say that privacy comes into play when considering wellness, but it does. It also comes into play generally, especially in Europe where GDPR regulations apply and customer awareness of data is at a comparatively high level. Making sure that data is stored privately and safely is of significant importance to brands and retailers who want to make sure that they are considered transparent and trustworthy. If you are storing the individual details of hundreds of thousands of customers so that you can create a personal beauty profile, you want to make sure that their privacy is upheld and that they don’t have to share those details with anyone they don’t want to.
2) Method of collecting
Some brands like to collect information using technology they’ve created. For example, selfie-based technology, which claims to be able to tell what skin issues clients have, and make a profile for them based on that. Some brands provide a proper in-store diagnostic using more advanced technology, some going so far as requiring DNA or blood testing as part of their skin and hair diagnostic. Other brands, like My Beauty Matches, are more easily accessible and implementable to a wider audience. These collect information based directly on the information that the consumer is happy to give. It does this by utilising individual questionnaires about everything from skin and hair to lifestyle. This is then explicitly used to provide a better customer experience to the customer, where their beauty recommendations profile is increasingly enriched by self-learning algorithms that create a constant improvement in the product recommendation and complementary products offered.
3) Real-time relevance
Independent of how the data is collected, some technologies acknowledge and have variations adapting the data gathered to everything including level of hydration, stress and pollution as well as sun and light exposure. Some brands may also go so far as to ask for data based on menstrual cycles to have a more accurate overall view. Not exactly a bad idea since it is estimated that 50% of skin and hair condition depends on environmental factors. Real-time relevance can therefore be important and when data is gathered, ought to be considered and taken into account.
4) Data ownership
It may seem a way off for the moment, but it has been suggested that there will come a time when the consumer ends up actually monetising their own beauty data in order for it to keep some of its value. How will that affect beauty personalisation? In this case, it becomes more vital than ever that brands and retailers are able to create a shopping experience that convinces their customers of the value of sharing their data. Beauty personalisation technology works because the benefits are to everyone and allow the customer to truly have a better and easier shopping experience, as well as a more satisfactory product experience.