Research Outline

Cosmetic Companies' Digital Transformation/AI Adoption


To provide case studies of digital transformation or AI adoption by cosmetic companies. The case studies will inform market research.

Early Findings

Estee Lauder

  • Estee Lauder has introduced virtual services such as the "30 Shades of Lipstick in 30 Seconds." This and other campaigns are part of the company's embrace of the industry's increasing adoption of technology.
  • Sowmya Gottipati, the company's Vice President of Global Brand Technologies, says that her job is to identify and champion such technologies, helping re-imagine how consumers can experience, buy, and use beauty products from the company's brands such as MAC and Too Faced.
  • The lipstick try-on service has been made possible through the company's partnership with Artificial Intelligence and YouCam Makeup.
  • Estee Lauder continues looking for new ways to use the virtual try-on approach for lipsticks to other products to boost overall performance. These experiences are deemed important by the company now that few customers can travel to department stores to test makeup and fragrances because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The company is also deploying tech behind the scenes such as new data analytic capabilities for launching and refining consumer engagement, leveraging in-store experiences, and marketing channels.
  • Over the next few years, Estee Lauder is planing to expand omni-retail capabilities, develop futuristic distribution and manufacturing centers, and make use of predictive analysis for the optimization of supply and demand planning.
  • The company is also piloting AR glasses in manufacturing facilities to enable employees to perform activities using remote instruction through the glasses.
  • Estee Lauder is planning on developing a new digital paradigm that is here to stay, enabling it to adapt accordingly.
  • MAC, one of the company's brands, has a try-on that has experienced a "threefold increase in consumer engagement" during the pandemic. The fact that these try-ons have no residues left from testers makes realistic AR for the company a game-changer for color cosmetics.
  • Estee Lauder revealed that in June 2020, usage of the virtual try-on tool on the website increased by 133%.
  • In summary, the company continues to integrate AI and AR technologies to improve customer experiences across all digital touchpoints. These include:
    • Virtual try-on. The YouCam Makeup app that allows customers to browse, shop, and experiment internally through the private education channel. Brand and beauty advisers can also stay updated about launches and news.

Summary of Early Findings

  • Our first hour of research was spent scanning for information surrounding digital transformation and AI adoption by cosmetic companies and beauty brands to determine whether the information is publicly available, which it is.
  • In the early findings, we have provided a case study of Estee Lauder.
  • We can continue with research and provide more case studies. Please select one or more of the options provided in the scoping section below.