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Brief Published: 23 Aug 2016

Olay: Educational E-Personalisation

Olay Skin Advisor

Tapping into the increasing power of e-personalisation (see Personalising E-Tail), US skincare brand Olay has launched a web tool that recommends products according to individual skin type.

In development since 2011, the URL to the dedicated webpage on which the tool sits will be promoted on graphics in relevant drugstore aisles. Visitors are asked to upload a selfie and submit responses to questions on age, skin type and problem areas. Artificial intelligence and ‘deep learning’ algorithms analyse the shots to determine users' ‘real skin age’ and recommend suitable products.

Notably, Olay chose not to develop an app, citing the resistance felt by many consumers regarding the hassle of downloading it – the intention being that the tool is accessed speedily in-store, creating a direct connection between physical product and digitised advice. The relative ease of updating the web tool proved an additional factor.

As discussed in The Supportive Sell, personalisation with an eye on self-optimisation is extremely valuable – beta testing of the tool reveals that nine out of 10 women purchased a product after using it. Furthermore, 88% were still using the recommended products four weeks after their first assessment.

According to Olay’s principal scientist Frauke Neuser, education is key to building loyal traction: “Of course we want to sell products, but more importantly, we want to get people to stick with the products because they’re working for them.”

See also Max Factor X Blippar: Contextual AR Beauty E-Tail, Beauty Transparency, Bespoke Beauty: New Retail Strategies and Harnessing the Hunt: Retail’s New Search Strategies