Opinion

Two Views: Digital democratizes beauty

Jessica Pritchett, Founder of LOVR

For this installment of Two Views, Cosmetics Design reached out to digital entrepreneurs— Jessica Pritchett and Jihan Thompson—in an effort to better understand how technology is expanding the reach and potential of beauty products and services.

Many new technologies promise to streamline or simplify consumer experiences. But the real advantage comes when digital solutions can benefit brands, retailers, service providers, and shoppers. Here, are the insights of two women innovating in tech to make that happen.

Jessica Pritchett, Founder of LOVR

“The beauty industry has overwhelmingly had trouble with online shopping where other industries have not. For the most part, beauty customers use the internet to replenish their favorite items not to try new ones. Slowly the conversation is changing.

“With mass customization, trial, and discovery, beauty startups are disrupting online shopping. Now it is quite simple to find beauty and personal care products best suited to any customer at many different price points.

“One such business hacking beauty through discovery is LOVR. My team and I launched LOVR in the summer of 2016, as a Brooklyn, NY based online marketplace for clean beauty items that cannot be found in stores.

“Many of the items focus on underrepresented segments such as customers with coarse hair textures, darker skin tones, skin issues, and men. In addition, most of the products on LOVR are organic, sustainable, and socially responsible. In 2017, LOVR will be adding a sample subscription service to the platform to give customers the try-before-you-buy experience that is the main sales driver in brick and mortar stores.”

Jihan Thompson, Co-Founder & CEO of Swivel Beauty

“The digital revolution, which has made it easier to put a wealth of information at consumers' fingertips, has had a major impact on democratizing beauty by leveling the playing field.

“Finally, we’re seeing products and services—created by people of color—that address the beauty needs of women of color in authentic ways. Whether it’s an app like Cocoa Swatches that shows how makeup looks on darker skin tones, or our platform Swivel Beauty, which simplifies how women of color discover salons and stylists for textured hair, new online and mobile solutions can reach consumers like never before and revolutionize what the beauty industry can look like for women of color.

“The result: Black women no longer have to hack together lackluster solutions to get their beauty needs met. In our case, they don’t have to wonder, Can this salon work with my hair? We’re finding that women appreciate our product because we put their pain points first, proving to them that their beauty needs matter and that they deserve a tech solution that’s seamless and sophisticated.”

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