Brands are turning to virtual reality to replace in-store experiences during the Coronavirus pandemic. As the crisis coincides with the holiday shopping season, Charlotte Tilbury becomes the latest label to debut a digital push.
Charlotte Tilbury embraces VR for the holidays through a new interactive experience that allows shoppers to “try on” popular products. The beauty brand’s new virtual store is designed to look like a winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights and brightly lit stars advertising popular products. The virtual store includes holiday themed “rooms” that users can visit while guided around by an avatar version of brand chairman, Charlotte Tilbury. In each room, users will see holiday gift-set recommendations and product tutorials, which they can watch and then try for themselves to achieve the same look via AR capabilities. Charlotte Tilbury will highlight 10 of its top makeup looks for users to virtually try on themselves, with each product featured beside the videos available for purchase. In addition to traditional shopping, the virtual store will also host holiday events and allow users to video call a friend so they can shop together. The virtual experience, which can be accessed via email and website, is linked to the brand’s online store, which means users can purchase products right from the feature, rather than having to open a different tab or app.
Charlotte Tilbury worked with virtual shopping platform Obsess to create its VR holiday store. The company has also launched stores for Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, and Coach this year, signaling a growing trend from brands to connect with customers via smartphone. As more shoppers plan to peruse online rather than in-store this holiday season, creating a virtual store could help brands boost digital foot traffic and sales while still supplying in-store amenities, like try-ons. With Charlotte Tilbury’s virtual location, consumers can “walk around” like they would in a store, which could help sustain the traditional shopping experience while still providing a more entertaining adventure than simply scrolling through products on website pages. The initiative could also help Charlotte Tilbury grow a more loyal customer base online, which it could continue to cultivate post-pandemic, as more consumers shift to e-commerce shopping permanently. By giving customers a glimpse at what beauty products look like in real life using AR, Charlotte Tilbury could meet consumer expectations for personalization, therefore diminishing the need to go into a physical store to try on products, according to a Gartner report. As such, Charlotte Tilbury’s virtual store and try on capabilities could become a permanent fixture in the beauty brand’s portfolio.
This year, innovation has reigned supreme as brands from all industries are swift to sustain connections with at-home shoppers. By bringing its stores to customers in the comfort of their own homes, Charlotte Tilbury could appeal to a wider audience of beauty shoppers and set the stage for future digital drives.