Smashbox integrates eye tracking to increase mobile conversions

The call-to-action button was hidden and only displayed when the user tried on and read the name of the product, increasing conversion rates from 6.2% to 7.9%.

ModiFace, a provider of augmented reality technology in the beauty industry, announced an expanded partnership with Smashbox to utilize the technology company’s eye tracking capabilities for the brand’s mobile app. Using ModiFace’s video-based tracking of eye gaze location, the technology will track the location on a mobile screen of the user based on their video, making it easier for the brand to ideally place ads where the user is already gazing. 

The new Smashbox and ModiFace project is the iOS app MAKEUP, which features only Smashbox products and offers the brand an opportunity to act based on the user’s gaze, ultimately increasing conversions.

"The integration of Smashbox products in the Makeup iOS app started in early June," Parham Aarabi, founder and CEO of ModiFace, told FierceRetail. "We have seen a consistent 27% increase in conversions when eye tracking has been used to provide timely product recommendations."

ModiFace implemented eye tracking for multiple purposes within the MAKEUP app. First, the location at which users were looking was used to create a heat map of the areas on the screen that receive more attention. The heat map provides insight into what features users are most interested in. 

“There are times when users think about a particular shade but would not tap a product or take any action. Eye tracking provides a deeper level of insight into what users are thinking about by measuring what they are looking at,” Aarabi said.

The eye tracking analyzes data based on where users are focusing. “Focus” consists of a user first looking at a swatch for a product at the bottom of the screen, then selecting a shade to try on in her own video, and then spending at least two seconds to look at it and read the name of the product. 

From gathered data, the most popular product was Smashbox’s Always On Liquid Lipstick, which was focused on by 49% of users. The second most popular category was Smashbox’s Cover Shot Eye Palettes, which represented 12% of all focused-on products. 

During an initial product test, one set of mobile consumers was given a call-to-action button for purchasing products placed near the top of the page, regardless of the user’s gaze location. For another set of customers, the call-to-action button was hidden and only displayed when the user tried on and read the name of the product. The results were an increase in conversion rates from 6.2% to 7.9% when the gaze was included.  

“What is most exciting is that this is just the start. We are determined to ensure MAKEUP will always be the most innovative mobile iOS application for beauty augmented reality.  And to make this happen, we have a number of experimental technologies and capabilities that we will be testing jointly with our partners at Smashbox cosmetics over the coming year,” said Aarabi.

In the long term, Aarabi says that ModiFace hopes to use augmented reality and artificial intelligence to benefit both Smashbox and other brands' customers. The company also hopes to experiment with new technologies and capabilities, and is currently working on a number of other innovations with Smashbox. 

"The main positive outcome is the ability to better understand the intent of mobile shoppers, and to provide timely recommendations and suggestions based on what they are looking at," he said.