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Please provide us with an overview of MIME.
MIME was conceptualized while developing a prototype cosmetic app for the marketing agency, RAZUR. The app was created to assist users in identifying different cosmetics based on color; take a photo of anything and the app will match the shade. Observing the popularity of the app among customers, the team and I wanted to know what the real pain point was for finding new cosmetics: that pain point was foundation matching. Customers wanted to take a photo of themselves and be shown products just for their skin type and tone.
Following this, we started building our intellectual property for about two years around ambient light detection, in an attempt to bring in an element of personalization in accordance with different skin tones and types. This has helped us succeed in offering a one-to-one experience for customers, in tandem with the best cosmetic suggestions for their skin.
What are the challenges in the current personalization landscape?
In the current market, where new skincare and color cosmetic brands are launched every week, customers find themselves in an overwhelming situation while deciding the appropriate product for their skincare needs. Our profound bio-behavioural research on the purchase habits of our customers reveals the lack of a brand-agnostic platform capable of guiding them to a curated selection of products. Our platform, which is already being adopted by renowned retailers, allows customers the liberty to make informed purchases. Additionally, personalization is the next big win for retailers–we will soon say “goodbye influencers, hello curated recommendations just for me.” The winning retailers will quickly identify their healthy balance of privacy to reward ratio for their customers.
Generally, retailers convince people into buying the product they wish to sell. MIME specializes in increasing customer loyalty and provisioning a connected digital experience via smart in-store technologies, thereby empowering shoppers to choose from a vast range of cosmetic and skincare products before purchasing them, without the assistance of a salesperson.
How does MIME bring in personalization to address some of the predominant challenges in the industry?
MIME is built with the motto of guiding customers through their entire purchase journey, starting from the discovery of new products, visiting stores, browsing websites or mobile apps, and engaging with those products and brands. Post the purchase, customers can review these products and rate their overall experience while shopping.
We started building our own intellectual property for about two years around ambient light detection, in an attempt to bring in personalization in terms of obtaining data about skin tones and types
What makes MIME stand out in the market?
MIME’s uniqueness stems from its emphasis on testing and innovation while adhering to the vital customer experience within the retail sector. Our internal process involves a thorough understanding of the business goals provided by each partner; this serves as the key for us to measure a true return on investment. Our team at MIME has years of hands-on experience of working with multiple award-winning agencies and retailers, which has enabled us to function in a proprietary manner, understanding the internal pain points of our partners and their customers.
Contrary to the conventional facial scan technology offered by most solution providers, we offer a hybrid model. Leveraging color science, AI, and ML, the MIME team collects data from multiple sources–including feedback loops like ratings and reviews in order to attain a good skin tone reading. Added to that, our API supports Representational State Transfer (REST) technology, which enables retailers to submit photos and obtain data about their customers. In case the customer uploads photographs, our mobile app plugs into other brands’ or retailers’ mobile apps and assists them in making purchases.
MIME follows a simple partner onboarding process, starting with gaining an understanding of whether a partner requires the MIME platform to be integrated into a mobile eCommerce function, website or an app, or if they demand an in-store experience. We outline the data feed and merge it with inventory, utilizing our color algorithms to provide a recommendation of products. In the case where a client demands a mobile app, we utilize our plug-and-play SDK to help them retrieve personalized recommendations. We follow similar processes for other mediums as well. The integration period generally takes a few weeks but also depends on the complexity of the partners’ architecture. With an aim to streamline this process, our configurations also support eCommerce plugins (ie. ‘Shopify & Magento) plugins’ for faster implementation.
Could you cite a customer success story to substantiate your offerings?
Recently, we had partnered with one of the top cosmetics retailers experiencing difficulty in balancing between product discoveries and getting shoppers back into the store. We created an integrated program, making way for customers to discover their products inside of our app. In addition, we used geo-targeting functionalities to reach out to people via notifications as they walked near retail locations in New York City. Customers went back into the stores when they received notifications regarding personalized suggestions. As a result, the retailer saw a 14 percent increase in in-store traffic conversion rates without any additional marketing support–or incentives.
What does the future look like for MIME?
We are currently working on an enterprise dashboard and analytics tools, which will be capable of identifying different trends on a global and local level. Brands will form an idea of the top products and colors suitable for different skin tones while developing solutions for common skin problems including acne and dryness of the skin. This will serve as an excellent aid for retailers and brands to incorporate innovation in their product development. In terms of geographical expansion, we are looking forward to expanding our footprint in the UK, Middle East, and Asia.