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Metaverse Symposium: The Future of Beauty Is O+O+O

And no, it’s not “Out of Office.”

After years of perpetuating the omnichannel approach and invoking the term as a magic mantra, the beauty industry is moving to the next phase by adding a layer to the word’s definition.

According to Asmita Dubey, chief digital and marketing officer of L’Oréal Groupe, the beauty customer journey is increasingly evolving, moving from the combination of off-line and online to “O+O+O, so off-line plus online plus on-chain.”

This is part of the inevitable shift from Web2 to Web3. If companies have been practicing and mastering the codes of the former — including videos, livestreaming, image recognition and AI, among others — they are increasingly exploring the opportunities offered by the latter, starting from gaming and moving to AR, VR, spatial computing and virtual identity.

Data confirms the scale of the overall digital adoption by consumers will continue to rise —1.9 billion people were estimated to be online in 2010, and last year, 4.2 billion people were on social media.

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Figures are scaling up quickly for Web3, too. According to figures cited by Dubey, 800 million people have already used some kind of extended reality, or XR, while crypto currencies and NFTs have engaged 330 million people and 100 million people, respectively.

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Overall projections show that 7.5 billion people will be online by 2030, signaling there will be “a lot of digital activity and more digital layers in our life, and therefore the evolution to Web3 is inevitable,” said Dubey.

“What we believe is that the future of beauty will be physical, digital and virtual. There won’t be a single reality, but a combination of realities taking to something new in terms of utilities and experiences,” she continued, underscoring that consumers “are craving” for these kinds of novelties.

Dubey highlighted different elements and considerations to ponder when approaching the on-chain realm as a beauty company, starting from always respecting the roots of each brand’s DNA when implementing strategies in the Web3.

“The second thing is to look at on-chain beauty through the prism of community, because beauty by nature is extremely social,” she said, underscoring the role of influencers and advocates in enhancing engagement.

In addition to the rise of 3D artists today, the opportunities unlocked by Web3 include exploring solutions that offer an improved user experience.

“If we’re moving from a look-down smartphone generation which changed the world so dramatically to an unabashedly face-forward device, imagine the vastly superior user experience that this is going to bring with it and what that means in terms of beauty and experiences with beauty,” noted Dubey.

The executive offered concrete examples of activations by brands of the L’Oréal Group, highlighting the strategies that can be implemented while respecting each label’s identity.

For one, she mentioned YSL Beauty’s Twitch campaign for the Black Opium Extreme fragrance, hinged on the partnership with gaming influencers of the platform — dubbed “Glamers” — to engage with hard-core gaming lovers and viewers.

Other examples included Thierry Mugler’s Angel fragrance, marking its 30th anniversary this year with a 30-item NFT collection, in an operation in line with the label’s roots as “the positioning of the brand itself is that ‘the real world is not enough’,” noted Dubey, who also mentioned NYX Professional Makeup’s partnership with communities like People of Crypto and Sandbox to launch more than 1,000 avatars, making the metaverse more inclusive.

“We’re committing to building a very responsible consumer journey for beauty, which means we have to look at these partners and new ways of working with communities, and evolve how all of us are working,” said Dubey. “It also means…new people and skills that we have to integrate into our system and all of that is extremely exciting and very promising,” she concluded.