No-Commitment Manicures: Orly Launches AR Nail Polish Try-On With App Wanna Nails
Orly is taking the concept of try before you buy virtual by partnering with augmented reality specialist Wannaby to allow consumers to sample nail polishes on their cellphones via the Wanna Nails app.
Although brands the likes of Essie, Sally Hansen and OPI have ventured into AR to encourage polish experimentation, the partnership marks Orly’s first effort to harness the technology that’s shifting the way women shop for lacquer and share manicure ideas with friends. Orly’s six-shade fall collection The New Neutral will be highlighted upon opening the Wanna Nails app, although there will be access to more than 100 shades across the brand’s product portfolio in it as well.
“There’s a real challenge with nail polish to see how it looks with your skin tone. There are companies that have addressed it with AR, but the apps are generally not very intuitive. When I was approached by Wannaby, I was impressed by the execution,” says Tal Pink, vice president of business development at Orly. “For the consumer, whether or not they’re intent on purchasing, it’s a fun way to explore colors, check out what’s new and see what works with their skin tone.”
Sergey Arkhangelskiy, CEO of Wannaby, explains the company has set out to achieve shade accuracy with the Wanna Nails app while acknowledging there can be color deviations due to ambient light and the specific characteristics of cellphone screens. Wannaby also endeavored to perfect the placement of polishes on nails, no matter their shapes and sizes. “What we have is serious work behind the app, making the user experience truly immersive and simple,” says Arkhangelskiy. Wanna Nails is accessible on both iOS and Android devices.
To use the Wanna Nails app, consumers either view their hands in video mode or take a picture of them and, immediately, six shades are presented that can be trialled on their hands digitally. Additionally, they can paint each nail a different shade, create four images within the cellphone frame with various shades, and produce GIFs and boomerangs. Of course, the app enables swift Instagram posting. Consumers will be sent to Orly’s website to finalize a transaction of shades they play around with on Wanna Nails and decide to purchase.
Arkhangelskiy asserts generally that AR leads to sales, suggesting Wanna Nails will drive people to spend money on Orly nail polishes. He points to a forecast by ABI Research that AR will account for 3% of e-commerce sales by 2020, amounting to a total of $122 billion in global sales, and indicates brands not jumping on the AR bandwagon will lose out on business. Arkhangelskiy proclaims AR is becoming the “new standard for e-commerce,” saying, “Either you are the first now or you’ll catch up.”
“There’s a real challenge with nail polish to see how it looks with your skin tone. There are companies that have addressed it with AR, but the apps are generally not very intuitive. When I was approached by Wannaby, I was impressed by the execution. For the consumer, whether or not they’re intent on purchasing, it’s a fun way to explore colors, check out what’s new and see what works with their skin tone.”
Pink believes Wanna Nails has the potential to boost sales of Orly’s polishes particularly with young consumers and online, where it’s harder to get a faithful sense of color than at salons or stores. “I will look at colors on social and online, and I will scratch my head and think, ‘Is that the same shade as our shade?’” he says. “It does address that challenge to inform the consumer considering making a purchase.”
Going into the partnership with Wannaby, however, Pink was concerned the app could end up a novelty rather than a platform for commerce. Forthcoming sales will prove if it can be a true business catalyst and not merely a momentary distraction for consumers. Orly chose not be exclusive on Wanna Nails, an opportunity Wannaby extended, to reflect polish shoppers real-life habits and draw larger crowds to it than might be drawn with only one brand available.
“The investment wasn’t huge on our side, and I’m looking at it as a case study for us as far as exposure and commerce, and our relationships with retailers to see if there’s further integration possible moving from an online to an in-person experience,” says Pink. “This launch is also about data. We have tagged all the content to see how many people are going to be sharing and purchasing.” He concludes, “It’s a tool that fits really well with everything else that we are doing, and we have to utilize it as part of our arsenal to engage with our customers.”