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EDM Looks Good On You

(Posted by Guest Blogger, and someone who has only worn makeup for high school plays - a comment that makes sense when you read the article - Ian Turvill.)

Here's an interesting potential application of EDM, in a very different environment: the cosmetics counter. 

A recent article in eWeek tells of tests involving retail chain Mitsukoshi, cosmetics company Shiseido and RFID vendor Fujitsu that offers consumers a "virtual real-time makeup" session featuring a camera-equipped kiosk, display and RFID tag reader "that will enable customers to view on the display how particular products would look on their face by waving tagged cosmetic products such as lipsticks or eyeshadows over the tag reader."

What intrigued me was how the trial will also involve "touch-screen displays will allow customers "to view word-of-mouth information about the products from other customers by waving tagged testers over the tag readers."

Very interesting.

But what if the system could also use rules and analytics to guide the store staff to say the right things about the customer's appearance that would most likely drive them to purchase?  For example, a rule might be: if customers puts on an orange lipstick, and if the customer has green eyes, tell them how the two colors complement each other.  (Do Japanese have green eyes?  Dunno.)

Or how about this?  What if the system monitored the sequence in which lipsticks are tried and scanned, and then made recommendations to the customer on other colors to try, based on what path it's seen other customers follow through the various hues!  (See a recent ViewPoints article on a similar mechanism for analyzing purchase paths.)

Obviously, the displays should also be set up to make offers.  "If the customer has tried on 50 lipsticks, and still hasn't bought anything, then give them the chance to buy 3 for the price of one, because they plainly don't know their own mind and have to be given a larger selection."

The trials started Jan. 26 and are scheduled to run through Feb. 12, all sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.  Is anyone from the Ministry ready to blog for us on this project?

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