According to Parham Aarabi, founder and chief executive officer of ModiFace, virtual makeovers lead to selfies, which boost e-commerce sales.

It’s a win-win.

Aarabi, who shared myriad advancements in virtual makeover tools at WWD’s Digital Beauty Forum, noted that going beyond the traditional sample shade swatches spurs multiple sales. “If a person really loves a brand, she’ll come and purchase,” he said. “But, there isn’t strong motivation to use a new product and sharing doesn’t happen that often [with swatches]. Sharing is important because it gauges how excited people are about products.”

To that end, when a model is more relatable to the customer, conversion rises. But when a user sees her own face, sales really start clicking. “If people upload a photo, they will try new products and complete the look,” he said, referring to a higher incidence of multiple purchases. Research shows that adding just the model’s face boosts conversion rates by 16 percent. “But when you add the model images and the ability for a user to upload a photo, the sharing rate becomes substantially higher. It’s over 10 percent and conversions become over 15 percent,” Aarabi said, who noted that the technology works on desktops and mobile.

Meanwhile, in stores, there’s innovation in augmented reality and mirrors. “What really turned the page was what Sephora did two years ago with in-store mirrors, that as soon as someone walked up to the kiosk, they could see how different eye shadows [looked] on their image in a live mode,” Aarabi explained.

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So how does ModiFace take it further?

“If you watch people near a kiosk, 95 percent will look, but the number who uses the kiosk is 20 percent. How do we get that other 75 percent interacting with kiosks,” asked Aarabi. ModiFace is proposing a camera that scans a consumers’ face as soon as they glance at it. Within seconds their complexion, hair and eye color are analyzed to suggest looks. The shopper can then open up the full interface, or perhaps remember the recommended colors for purchase. Aarabi declared, “I believe this will be game changing for retailers.”

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