Blended Reality Nail Polish Kiosks Drive 24% Sales Bumps

The global beauty company COTY is using free-standing blended reality kiosks to help demo and sell a line of nail polish products, and has seen 24% sales bumps at locations where they are plugged in.

There are more than 400 units – marketing nail polish from the COTY brand OPI – in third-party stores around the world. Based on the photo, it appears duty-free shops at airports are a prime home for these stations.

The units were designed in a collaboration between a couple of UK companies – the design group Play Retail and integrator Pioneer Group.

The stations enable consumers to try out different shades of nail polish/lacquer in real time, using a blend of virtual reality and interactive touch software. Instead of applying samples on nails (or whatever people do, I’m clueless on nail care), people stick a free hand into a gap below the kiosk screen, and a camera with motion-tracking software helps map a virtual overlay of polished nails over the real nails.

The double-digit sales bump is impressive, and would explain why this went from test to in excess of 400 units on six continents. You would not imagine 400 units were ordered at the inception, without first doing pilots to see how they resonated with consumers.

I am no user experience expert, but the height of the screen and teeny tablet-style screen navigation seems way off. The woman in this pic would have to stoop, considerably, to use the screen.

It may be that the retailer won’t allow free-standing POP to be above a certain height. Or the designers tested and this height and design works. Just seems odd.

More on the project, including some interviews and more pix, here …

Based on a run through its website, Coty appears to be doing a lot of experimentation with interactive, including blended reality mirrors for hair products.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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