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Creating a shopping experience isn’t just about showing a product to someone, and providing the functionality so that they can purchase it.
While those are important elements, it’s the steps in between that make the difference between a person browsing for an item, and buying it.
This is especially important to remember in ecommerce, where many of the in-store elements of merchandising, try-on and associate guidance aren’t automatically built-in.
A new beauty initiative launched by JC Penney offers a look at how these elements can be added to digital shopping journeys to help inform users, and allow consumers to test out a product before they buy it.
Through a partnership with Revieve, the department store retailer is launching a digital skincare and makeup experience that is designed to help shoppers arrive at cosmetics that are right for them.
JC Penney is launching a Skincare Advisor, which uses AI to help users develop a skincare routine. Shoppers can access this tool through JC Penney’s website, where they are prompted to submit a selfie and answer a questionnaire. Then, skincare diagnostics technology from Revieve is employed to analyze more than 120 metrics. After conducting an analysis, it provides product recommendations and skincare education that is tailored to a user’s needs.
The retailer is also launching augmented reality-powered makeup try-on. With augmented reality, a digital overlay of a product can be placed within the frame of a camera app on a device. As users view the product on their likeness in the camera app, they can get a sense of what they would look like in a product.
JC Penney Beauty goes online. (Courtesy photo)
The new tools come in the year after the retailer launched JC Penney Beauty, a new experience built around inclusivity. Housed within JC Penney stores and online, it offers more than 170 brands, aiming to provide a cross-section of mass, masstige, and prestige products.
"We want to be the shopping destination of choice, offering a personalized approach that fully celebrates and honors [shoppers] as unique individuals," says Michelle Wlazlo, chief merchandising officer at JCPenney, in a news release. “Our partnership with Revieve allows us to deliver on our customers' desire for personalization regardless of age, gender, race, skin tone, beauty regimen, or budget.”
Digital tools are increasingly being embraced in the beauty industry. In January, Axios reported that AR-powered virtual try-on is becoming “table stakes” among brands and retailers in cosmetics. Providing information and offering a look at a product could help to inspire a purchase. Offering personalized experiences is also a way for retailers to offer a delightful experience for shoppers.
"We are delighted to be partnering with JCPenney – one of the only department chains in the US to bet on personalization and simultaneously launch new digital experiences in two beauty categories,” said Sampo Parkkinen, CEO and founder at Helsinki, Finland-based Revieve.
Retailers long relied on the beauty counter to provide try-on experience and consultations. Now, they can turn to tools that provide additional touchpoints, and reach across online and in-store channels.
The elements of a complete shopping experience are coming into view.
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On the Move has the latest from Amazon, Lovesac and more.
This week, leadership is changing at GameStop, Sorel and Beautycounter. Meanwhile, key executives are departing at Amazon, Wayfair and Lovesac.
Here’s a look at the latest shuffles:
GameStop CEO fired
GameStop announced the termination of Matthew Furlong as CEO on Wednesday. A brief statement did not provide a reason for the firing.
With the move, Chewy founder and activist investor Ryan Cohen was named executive chairman of the video game retailer. Cohen will be responsible for capital allocation and overseeing management.
It came as the company reported a 10% year-over-year decline in net sales for the first quarter. Meanwhile, the company’s net loss improved by 62%.
In an SEC filing, GameStop further added this “We believe the combination of these efforts to stabilize and optimize our core business and achieve sustained profitability while also focusing on capital allocation under Mr. Cohen’s leadership will further unlock long-term value creation for our stockholders.”
Cohen was revealed as GameStop's largest shareholder when he disclosed a 10% stake in the retailer in 2020. GameStop went on to become a leading name in the meme stock rise of 2021.
Sorel president steps down
Mark Nenow is stepping down as president of the Sorel brand in order to focus on his health.
After rising to the role in 2015, Nenow spearheaded a transformation of Columbia Sportswear-owned Sorel from a men’s workwear brand to a fashion-focused brand that led with a women’s offering of boots, sandals and sneakers.
“Mark led the brand to sales of $347 million in net sales in 2022,” said Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle, in a statement. “His leadership has been invaluable to this company, and we wish him the very best.”
Columbia will conduct a search for Nenow’s replacement. Craig Zanon, the company’s SVP of emerging brands, will lead Sorel in the interim.
Beautycounter appoints interim CEO
Beautycounter appointed board member Mindy Mackenzie as interim CEO, succeeding Marc Rey. According to the brand, Rey and the board “mutually decided to transition to a new phase of leadership for Beautycounter.”
McKenzie, a former executive at Carlyle, McKinsey and Jim Beam, will lead the company as it conducts a search for a permanent CEO. Additionally, former Natura & Co CEO Roberto Marques will join Beautycounter’s board as chair.
As part of the transition, Nicole Malozi is also joining the company as chief financial officer. She brings experience from Tatcha, Nike, and DFS Group Limited.
Amazon’s North America fulfillment chief departs
Melissa Nick, a VP of customer fulfillment for North America at Amazon, will leave the company, effective June 16, CNBC reported. Nick joined the company in 2014, and oversaw a region that included nearly 300 fulfillment centers. After doubling its supply chain footprint during the pandemic, Amazon recently reorganized its fulfillment operations to take a regional approach, as opposed to a national model that often resulted in items shipping across the country.
Wayfair’s chief commercial officer to retire
Jon Blotner (Courtesy photo)
Steve Oblak will retire from the role of chief commercial officer at home goods marketplace Wayfair. With the move, Jon Blotner will be promoted to chief commercial officer.
"Steve has served as a critical part of our leadership team and played a pivotal role in Wayfair's growth, helping us grow from a $250 million business when he joined to $12 billion in net revenue today,” said Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah, in a statement. “He oversaw countless milestones, from helping to launch the Wayfair brand as we brought together hundreds of sites into a single platform, to launching new categories, business lines, and geographies while overseeing our North American and European businesses, to leading our debut into physical retail.”
Blotner previously oversaw exclusive and specialty retail brands, as well as digital media at Wayfair. Before joining the company, he served as president of Gemvara.com prior to its 2016 acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway.
Lovesac announces CFO transition
Furniture retailer Lovesac said Donna Dellomo will retire as EVP and CFO, and move to an advisory role, effective June 30. Dellomo was with Lovesac for six years.
Keith Siegner was appointed as the next EVP and CFO. He brings experience as CFO of esports company Vindex, as well as executive roles at Yum! Brands, UBS Securities and Credit Suisse.
Additionally, Jack Krause will retire from the role of chief strategy officer, effective June 30. His responsibilities will be divided between CEO Shawn Nelson and president Mary Fox.
“Since joining Lovesac, Jack has played an instrumental role in transforming the Company into a true omni channel retailer by helping expand our physical touchpoints and digital platform as we continue to disrupt the industry,” said Nelson, in a statement.
NRF adds board members
The National Retail Federation announced the addition of five new board members. They include:
- Marguerite Adzick, founder and CEO, Addison Bay
- Harley Finkelstein, president, Shopify
- Ian Kahn, partner, PwC
- Sharon Leite, CEO, Ideal Image
- Carrie Tharp, VP, strategic industries, Google Cloud