To help drugstore shoppers pick out the right shade of lipstick or eyeshadow, makeup brand Covergirl has launched a new app to help them try on products virtually before buying. Similar to L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app, Covergirl’s BeautyU app uses facial scanning and tracking to identify users’ skin tones and overlay makeup looks in real time. The Maryland-based company aims to provide their customers with a complementary tool that may help break the try-on barrier that hinders purchases in drugstore browsing.
What Brands Need To Do
With this new app, Covergirl provides a great example of how brands can leverage the proliferation and advanced capabilities of smartphones to provide extra utility throughout the consumer journey. Given that smartphone users are spending over 85% of their time in apps rather than web browsers, it makes sense for brands to develop branded apps to engage with consumers, enhance their shopping experiences, and move them down the sales funnel.
Header image courtesy of BeautyU app
Apple has reportedly put together a secret team to work on improving search in its App Store. The team is said to be exploring the possible addition of paid search ads, which would charge brands and developers to have their apps prominently displayed in app search results. It is likely that they will end up with an implementation similar to the one that Google currently has in the Google Play store.
What Brands Need To Do
With over 1.5 million apps available in the App Store, it is getting increasingly hard for apps to get discovered. If implemented, paid search ads in the App Store should provide brands the opportunity to make a strong push for their branded apps. When a user searches for an app, the keywords they use indicate intent, and brands can reach those users by buying certain keywords that align with the utility or service their apps provide. For example, a retailer could promote its app to all users searching for “fashion” or “shopping,” whereas a hotel brand could target potential travelers who are searching for airline apps or transportation maps for specific cities.
L’Oréal hit a homerun with the launch of a branded mobile app called Makeup Genius, which uses augmented reality (or, more precisely, mixed reality) and facial tracking technology to let users virtually try on L’Oréal cosmetics and, if happy with the simulated results, order the products right in the app. It utilizes dynamic tracking so that even as users move their heads around, the virtual layer of makeup stays in the right places. The app has been especially successful in China, which brought in 4.7 million of its 14 million total downloads.
What Brands Should Do
In order to reach today’s mobile-first consumers, who are reportedly spending over 85% of their time on smartphones in apps rather than web browsers, it is important for brands to develop apps that offer true value to the consumers and function as new digital touchpoints to engage with the target audience.
In today’s mobile ad world, consumers are used to being redirected to the app store to tell them to purchase an app that they’ve expressed interest in. A mobile ad company, Tapstream, wants to refine that process, and today announced a piece of software called Deferred Deep Links to create individualized landing pages within mobile ads that will re-direct users after the app is installed. It works like this: when a user normally clicks a link, they’ll be directed to a specific page within the app, or if the app in question isn’t installed they’ll be prompted to install it in the App store. Deferred Deep Links simply takes the step of redirecting the new app-owner back to the original link they were directed to within the app, meaning that now advertisers are guaranteed that users aren’t lost in transition. It means that mobile ads will become that much more reliable, and guarantees that users will be seeing the right add within the right app at the right time.
Only six months after a very high-profile launch, Twitter #Music may very well be closing its doors. Although there was a lot of positive press generated around #Music’s launch, the target audience of mobile app users failed to materialize. Only nine days after its launch, Twitter #Music fell off the top 100 free apps in the iTunes store. It’s hardly even cracked the top 1500 overall apps, and it hasn’t been in that category since May. To contrast the success of the video-sharing app Vine, which sits at 15 out of all free apps, it’s a pale comparison, and a clear sign that it didn’t live up to its promise. What happens from here is anybody’s guess, but for Twitter to be ready to admit defeat is a big step back in the music space.
Unlike last season, NFL fans will have one app for all of their official football news and multi-media extras. Sponsored by Verizon, the new NFL Mobile app includes highlights, analysis, fantasy tools, and statistical updates for basic members, while Verizon customers can pay $5 for live coverage of Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football broadcasts. This merger of apps speaks to the overall goal of appealing to customers as well as brands – it’s much easier to target advertising and branded opportunities through one, widely utilized channel than through an app web. In one fell swoop the NFL unified its increasingly large mobile userbase under one roof.