With the coming of smartphone apps, a new horizon opened for every industry. It gave them all a chance to reach a far broader customer base by finding homes in their smartphones. These days, a customer is never far away. All the major app stores are jam-packed with apps from various industries- food-delivery apps, video streaming apps, song streaming apps, you name it. And with the rise in social media and no visible end in sight for smartphone app trend, all these apps and businesses are earning hefty profits and will continue to do so in the coming years.
Another industry to benefit from the smartphone app revolution is the beauty industry. Major cosmetic and beauty companies like Sephora and Loreal have their high-end digital solutions which allow their users to try on new looks and purchase them if they like. But while the market is big and options are many, an app called YouCam has managed to surpass even the biggest of players and has dominated the industry for a long time now.
YouCam is a makeup app which is fueled by Augmented Reality technology and lets users try on various beauty products like- lips sticks, eye makeups, blush, faux lashes, etc. from multiple brands. YouCam was launched in 2014 by Perfect Corp., and since its inception, its popularity has only sky-rocketed.
At the beginning of 2016, YouCam had 160 million downloads on all major smartphone platforms combined and around mid-2017, this number climbed up to become over 4 million downloads with 1 billion photos taken. If you look at its growth, you will realize that though YouCam was neither an entirely out of the box idea nor the last app of its kind, it still persisted in the market and managed to thrive. And today, we will take a more in-depth look at it and tell you how you can develop a makeup app like YouCam yourself, as well.
1. The Smart Phone Effect
The first thing which worked for YouCam is something it had nothing to do with at all. In today’s times, an average individual spends a lot of hours on her smartphone. This makes her more prone to try on new apps, especially ones with an interesting concept, like YouCam. Taking the hassle of going from one cosmetic shop to another and then actually trying on different shades of lipstick and whatnot, YouCam turned all of it digital.
This could be considered as a home run in the market which is always struggling to provide good utility apps. Understanding the need to have such an app, was probably the best thing YouCam did on its way to the top.
So it might be a good idea for you to get in on the action because there is always a scarcity of good apps.
2. The Augmented Reality Revolution
For those of you who are not as technologically inclined, let us give you a brief go over of augmented reality technology. The original idea behind AR is to combine digital and physical worlds, to create a fantastical experience. What it does is place computer-generated images on top of the physical world around you. Apps like Pokemon go and YouCam have been great success stories.
AR is one of the hottest technology trends in the market right now, being used by pretty much every industry. But it has a certain significance in the beauty sector though. Using AR, apps like YouCam give the opportunity of trying out the product before buying it to the user, which is often desirable in these times of online shopping.
YouCam tracks a hundred points on your face using your cell phone camera and then using AR technology, it superimposes computer-generated looks, like eyelashes and blush, on your face. It can also keep the elements placed on their fixed position on your face, even if you move.
Thus it is clear that AR is the heart and soul of apps like YouCam. And you need to find a way to not only adapt it in your app but also make it better so that you can compete in the market. Don’t forget, though YouCam is wildly popular, it is not the perfect solution. So there are things you can change and improve.
3. Technological Advantages
While a lot of apps like it already exist in the market, YouCam has a distinct advantage over them. That advantage is its parent company, CyberLink Corp., which has provided this type of software for PCs and other platforms for many years. Because YouCam didn’t have to build everything from scratch, it had the opportunity to invest that time and money in making the app as fluid as possible.
Another thing which makes YouCam so successful is regular updates and new looks. Because it has a large team backing it up, it can keep providing new things for users to keep them enthused about the product.
So before you hire a firm to develop your app, you should make sure that they have good experience with AR. Furthermore, they should be fast and dedicated workers who are flexible enough to serve your changing needs and market trends.
4. Youth and Social Media
One thing which really works for YouCam is its appeal to the younger generation. It has been able to reel in and hold its users successfully for years now. The prime reason behind it has been the social media sharing feature it has which allows users to share their looks on various platforms. Other than that, sites like Beauty Circle have been a great aide to YouCam as well. Beauty Circle is an almost Pinterest kind of platform. It lets makeup enthusiasts from all over the world get together and share their newest looks.
The ability to surf, search, like, and comment really speaks to the younger generation. Also, the ability to acquire reviews and opinions from your peers is something millennials crave more than anything.
Because of social media, there is now a thriving community of like-minded cosmetic and beauty enthusiasts from around the world, and virtual makeup apps like YouCam are their saving grace.
So make sure that your app has the capacity to speak to the youth. A thorough market and trend research always comes in handy for this task, and you should also conduct face-to-face interviews with customers. This will help you understand the trends better and design your app accordingly.
5. Partnering up
The cosmetic, beauty and self-care industry is vast and has a large number of players. Companies like L’oreal and Sephora enjoy a loyal fan base, and it makes all the sense for them to have their own apps dedicated to their products only. But the problem these companies face is of low ROI. Most businesses think that the amount of return they will receive on their investment on having a mobile app built will not be worth the hassle. And this is where apps like YouCam come in.
YouCam, owner Perfect Corp, likes to describe the app as a bridge between consumers and cosmetic brands. While on one side, it allows customers to try on different looks from various companies, and on the other hand, it works as a customer acquisition tool for these companies.
YouCam, instead of being dedicated to just one brand, has a collection of partners. These brands get enrolled with YouCam and have their products uploaded for trial on the app. When a user tries their products, she can redirect to their website and make the purchase. On every purchase these companies get via their app, YouCam receives a cut of the sale. Thus by acting as a kind of virtual broker between the consumer and the provider, YouCam continues to dominate the market.
Apart from being a sales tool, YouCam comes in handy as an insight-providing-tool as well. A certain age group of girls and women are attracted to a particular type of look at a time. YouCam stores this data and which then can be used to find out where the trend is headed. Furthermore, it can be used to find customer sentiments toward a new product, thus making it a feedback gathering tool at the same time.
So it might be a good idea for you too to partner up with major cosmetic brands instead of dedicating your services to one. This will generate better revenue for you and help you reach a broader customer base.
YouCam’s sibling apps- YouCam Perfect (a photo editing app) and YouCam Nails have been huge successes as well. Using the same business model and tactics all three apps have managed to carve a place for themselves in the technology spectrum. Augmented Reality is relatively new in the market, and a lot of sophistication is yet to come to it. So it might be a good idea for you to dedicate your resources to this technology and create the next big makeup app development while the trend is still in its infancy.