With makeup try-ons in retail stores prohibited due to pandemic safety concerns, Coty enlisted Snapchat to create 17 in-store augmented reality (AR) lenses to make it easy for customers in the Middle East and Africa to test products from Coty brands Bourjois, Max Factor and Rimmel, which heavily rely on selling in physical stores. The experience saw a high conversion rate as 62 percent of those who used the AR lenses ended up buying a product.

The ability to try on products such as lipstick, mascara and foundation in real life is a key driver for beauty and skincare purchases. But with the pandemic limiting opportunities to interact with products in person, Coty teamed up with Snapchat to launch Snapcode-enabled lenses that let customers determine what products from Bourjois, Max Factor and Rimmel would look like on their own face. The AR lenses included eight different shades of lipsticks and foundations.

To use the virtual try-on feature, shoppers could scan Snapcodes for respective products via in-store displays using their phone, which would direct them to Snapchat where they could virtually try on the product. Coty launched the activation across the MENA region in retailers like Lifestyle, Carrefour and LuLu Hypermarket.

“For others looking to try AR, I would say, keep it simple. Less is always more when it comes to Lens experiences. And pick a platform where you can reach your audience in the right frame of mind, at scale – for us, that was definitely Snapchat,” said Alice Bézirard, media leader at Coty Inc.

Through reimagining the beauty product trial experience, Coty’s AR lenses reached 350,000 users who tried on products and shared pictures of their experience. In addition, 18 percent of total sales came from customers who used the AR lenses.

Bézirard says Coty’s activation was particularly effective in Saudi Arabia, where Snapchat has the highest potential reach for its core target. For example, Coty expected the lenses to represent five percent of sales across the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but the results were four times higher in Saudi. Next, Coty plans on expanding lenses to support its ecommerce strategy.