Skincare brand SK-II has launched its first ‘social retail’ pop-up store in Hainan. Visitors will be able to enter the world built by SK-II studio’s “VS Change Destiny” animation series. They can access the interactive experience through the brand’s WeChat Mini-Program. While waiting in line to checkout, customers can also watch the “VS” films and take part in an AR battle against Kaiju (a beast character from the series) with Olympic athlete Liu Xiang.
The ‘social retail’ store also provides the opportunity to use SK-II’s Mini Magic Scan which is the first skin analyser to use artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology. The face scanner focuses on eyes, cheeks, and lips to determine the customer’s skin age, strengths and potential in three minutes. It can also provide skin analysis and recommend personalised skin solutions to enable consumers to find skincare products that best suit them.
The ‘social retail’ experience is a new innovative approach to offline retail. Burberry’s social in-store collaboration with Tencent attracted widespread attention last year. The offline and online integration is appealing to China’s younger consumers who enjoy sharing their experiences on their social media channels (‘daka’). It also creates a more entertaining offline shopping experience for China’s consumers who are increasingly reliant on e-commerce.
SK-II picked to locate its store in what is currently China’s shopping mecca, in Hainan’s Haitang Bay Duty-Free Shopping Centre. Due to its attractive duty-free policies, the island is fast becoming a top destination for luxury shoppers who are unable to go overseas because of COVID-19 restrictions. In the recent 5-day Labour Day holiday, Hainan saw its duty-free retail revenue grow by 248% year-on-year to 993 million RMB ($153.5 million).
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