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03/26/2021

Whole Foods Taps QR Codes for Virtual Beauty Services

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
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Whole Foods will offer try-on virtual beauty services using QR codes through a partnership with Mineral Fusion.  

Mineral Fusion, a BWX Limited-owned clean beauty brand, has teamed with Perfect Corp to leverage its YouCam for Web augmented reality platform. By scanning a QR code on in-store displays, consumers can try on the products using their mobile devices through a dedicated Whole Foods landing page on MineralFusion.com.    

The platform leverages both AR and artificial intelligence to display the products; in addition to using their cameras, shoppers can also test shades by uploading a photo or using a preselected model image.

Stella Huang, director of digital marketing for Mineral Fusion, cited the tool as being a safer alternative to in-store testing. BMX Limited also owns such natural beauty brands as Sukin and Andalou Naturals. 

Indeed, virtual services are a rapidly growing trend for beauty brands, which were deeply impacted by retail shutdowns and a rise in remote work during the pandemic. Prestige beauty sales decreased 19% in 2020, according to The NPD Group, with makeup sales down 34%.

Perfect Corp and L’Oreal’s ModiFach tech business have emerged as leading contenders to help brands unlock these digital services. Nail brand Essie recently teamed with ModiFace virtual nail services, with that partnership also extending to bring QR codes to select retailers.

Consumers can also head over to Google Shopping to try their hand at both Perfect Corp and ModiFace’s technology, as the tech giant is offering the virtual services from such beauty brands as Black Opal and Charlotte Tilbury, in addition to L’Oreal and Estee Lauder’s MAC Cosmetics.  

The services continue to prove their value as a bright spot for the category: Estee Lauder reported a 10-fold increase in conversion rates for virtual services with its Bobbi Brown brand in its fiscal first quarter, with the total company hosting more 1 million virtual try-on sessions globally. The brand even opened an experimental store in New York offering interactive digital experiences.

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