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QVC and YouCam Makeup Team for First TV-Mobile Augmented Reality Shopping Experience

Storytelling meets technology as QVC links with YouCam to help shoppers pick the perfect shade.

AR Beauty Trial, the First of
Laura Geller’s QVC look.

A collaboration between QVC Inc. and Perfect Corp. will help consumers with one of the most vexing issues in selecting color cosmetics — picking the right shade.

On Aug. 22, the multiplatform retailer will team up with Perfect Corp.’s YouCam Makeup app to allow real-time virtual try-ons for a special selection of Laura Geller New York beauty products. The items will be the QVC Today’s Special Value, a popular feature where QVC identifies one item priced sharply from midnight EST until 11:59 p.m. PT.

This is the first QVC broadcast television augmented reality purchase experience that can be completed in the palm of users’ hands. Viewers can road test products directly from mobile devices by downloading and using YouCam to explore color options and finishes in seconds. QVC already has the ability to tell the background of its beauty features and merging of mobile AR technologies provides a mess-free avenue to see how a shade looks before buying.

“QVC has a long-standing history of bringing beauty products to life by leveraging the best storytellers and innovators behind our prestige brands,” said Ellen Lennon, director of beauty merchandising for QVC. “Through this collaboration with YouCam Makeup, we are introducing a new way to experience Laura Geller New York products like never before.” Lennon explained customers will be able to try on full makeup looks from day to night created by Geller. “YouCam Makeup is changing the way people shop for beauty by providing the mobile try-before-you-buy experience.”

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Added Alex Miller, senior vice president of digital commerce for QVC, “YouCam works with leading beauty brands, like Laura Geller, so they understand the power of relationships and how important relationships are to elevate the customer experience.”

To help viewers and app users select the right shades, YouCam Makeup’s facial recognition technologies take into account skin tone matching and a variety of textures so shoppers can experience the finishes whether sheer, matte, shimmery, glossy or metallic.

“We addressed what can be a common pain point of home shopping — return rates — and introduced a virtual trial experience to ensure shoppers could feel confident in their purchase decisions,” said Perfect Corp. chief executive officer Alice Chang.

Several retailers contacted by WWD said return rates on beauty edge toward 30 percent of purchases because consumers don’t like the shades once they get home.

But beyond reducing the return rates, the inaugural interactive experience is expected to drive a personal connection between the QVC hosts, the featured brands — in this case a fan favorite, Geller — and potential consumers.

“With over eight million regular QVC customers, we hope to demonstrate just how easy, convenient and reliable YouCam’s AR trials are and translate all QVC views into app users,” said Adam Gam, vice president of marketing for Perfect Corp. “In order to simplify the app download process, we even set up a quick text download code so viewers can text ‘QVC’ to 20800 and instantly receive the free YouCam download code to make it a seamless virtual beauty experience.”

The feature will be shared with QVC’s community along with YouCam’s audience of 25 million active users. Miller noted that QVC will promote the AR shopping experience across all of its platforms — broadcast, mobile and web. Throughout the day shoppers will be invited to try the products virtually through the app and complete their purchase. Robin McNamara, a frequent QVC shopper who did not previously have the app, said she thinks it will be like Geller is in her home guiding her.

This is the latest innovation from YouCam, which has more than 470 million downloads globally and recently introduced an AR skin diagnostic tool for real-time skin analysis, collaborations with celebrity makeup artists like Kristofer Buckle and Mélanie Inglessis, as well as partnerships with Pixi Beauty and L’Oréal Paris.