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Virtual Makeup on Shopify for Better Customer Experience

Shopify ecommerceVirtual makeup is woven into the fabric of beauty ecommerce. The global ecommerce industry is expected to reach $4.89 trillion in sales in 2021, and the beauty industry is set to be worth $463.5 billion by 2027. So what happens when you combine the booming cosmetics industry with the platform of ecommerce? Arguably one of the biggest digital market opportunities in existence. 

How companies are implementing augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) features into their ecommerce cosmetic sales varies from brand to brand. For instance, MAC’s “MAC Me Up” enables customers to book one-on-one virtual lessons with the brand’s leading online artists. With French high-street brand L’Oréal’s “Tap & Try,” you can virtually try on almost all of their products, building complete looks by simply touching your screen. 

Virtual Makeup Technology Explained

With the total number of AR users expected to reach 1.73 billion by 2024,  the AR industry, though still in its infancy, is a rapidly growing presence in almost all facets of our lives.

Businesses are always looking for ways to create more opportunities, convert more customers, and streamline the supply chain from the manufacturer all the way to their consumers. Implementing technology that’s rapidly growing in popularity not only enhances the customer experience, it also puts your business a step ahead of your competitors. 61% of online shoppers prefer making purchases on sites that offer AR features, so there has never been a better time to integrate AR and AI into your company.

Virtual Beauty ExampleThe idea of virtual makeup is not very different from filters on social media, in that the technology layers a mask over key points on your face to implement the desired effect. But overlaying a dog filter or bunny ears doesn’t rely on realism like depicting an eyeliner flick or the shine of a highlighter. AR for makeup can be more difficult due to the subtleties of our faces, which is why AlgoFace’s AR and AI solutions utilize diverse and inclusive data sets to better represent the innate intricacies of human expression.

The complexities of human movement and structure have been a problem for the AR community. AlgoFace’s solution, FaceTrace,  takes into account 209 facial landmarks, which is significantly higher than the industry standard. The end result is better eye gaze tracking, head pose estimation, and facial expression mapping.

Unlike other AI brands for cosmetics retailers, when it comes to virtual makeup AlgoFace’s Makeup AR-tist technology does not blur or “polish” the customer’s face. The cosmetics products are the focal point, and so we let them shine by making sure they are accurately represented. 

Makeup AR-tist also features identity-free biometrics, which means it complies with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) guidelines.

Apps vs. Integrations: What’s the Difference?

When looking to implement an augmented reality tool for your Shopify beauty store so you can offer virtual makeup, which should you use? Ready-made apps or integrations? 


AR apps are a popular choice for retail brands looking to improve their online sales. However, most of these apps are simply website add-ons — one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf products that seem like an afterthought rather than an experience that’s on-brand and custom-built according to the specific needs of your customers.

Quality-wise, they are usually not as accurate as fully integrated tools such as AlgoFace AI, both in terms of facial representation and the accuracy of the colors and shades of the makeup.


Integration, though similar to apps, allows you to create experiences specifically tailored to your users.

There is a 40% increase in conversion rates if AR is implemented as part of the shopping process, but only 1% of retailers currently have AR integrated in their shopping sites.

AR integration enables Shopify stores to streamline how they manage their business and increase sales and marketing effectiveness. With everything in one place, processes are not only easier but customers are also engaged for longer, which in turn adds to potential conversions. 87% of customers say that brands need to work harder to provide a seamless experience. With integration tools, you can give your customers a seamless experience without working doubly hard.

The integrated AR experience AlgoFace offers is miles above the industry standard when it comes to accuracy. It allows for visually realistic depictions of makeup and starkly accurate facial rendering. AlgoFace also operates on the edge, meaning it can process and analyze data in real time and at lightning speed while also offering your customers added privacy.  

Offer Personalized Customer Experiences with Integrations

With 1.59 million live websites using Shopify, standing out can be difficult. Their ecommerce app marketplace provides a long list of AR and virtual makeup apps you can add to your website, but you can do better by offering your customers more tailored, engaging experiences through integrations that you can customize to suit your preferences and theirs.

Request a free evaluation to learn more about what you can do with AlgoFace’s Makeup AR-tist integration.