Guided selling tools have evolved from basic diagnostic quizzes to virtual makeovers and robust content hubs, but adoption of these features varies by country. L2’s latest Digital IQ Index: Beauty France finds that diagnostic quizzes, virtual makeovers and how-to videos are more popular in the U.K., while French brands prefer to use instructive text and user-generated content (relative to other brands). The separation exists across subcategories as well; colour cosmetics brands invest heavily in video tutorials while skincare brands educate consumers through articles, scientific explanations and diagnostic quizzes.

The best uses of guided selling tools link to purchase. For example, Make Up For Ever provides tutorials, videos, expert tips and step-by-step instructions that link to e-tailers. And skincare brand Uriage writes scientific explanations of skin conditions and educates consumers on step-by-step beauty routines. Its diagnostic tool generates a personalized routine, and users can save results for future consultation.

Vichy is unique among skin care brands in its use of virtual makeovers. The tool – which works on desktop, mobile and tablet – lets a user upload a photo of themselves or choose a photo of a model that closely resembles them. The user can then alter and improve various characteristics based on skin concerns (e.g. wrinkles, pigmentation), and see the diagnostic tool recommend products and a customized beauty routine based on the concerns. Each recommended product links to an online purchase link or a store it can be found in through a store locator.

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