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Revieve opened its first development hub in Valencia, Spain, after nine months of development, to provide its teams with the space and equipment necessary to advance work in digitising the beauty customer experience. The company works with a range of technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality to develop digital tools for consumers to obtain skin diagnostics, receive skin care recommendations, virtually try on make-up or access individually-tailored tutorials. For beauty brands, data from these tools also enabled a deeper understanding on consumer needs, trends and shopping patterns.

Revieve said its development hub was strategically positioned in Valencia as it planned to work with local government, officials and universities through the hub, particularly students coming out of “esteemed universities” ​like the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

“Throughout the last year, we uncovered that Valencia has a great deal of high-quality development talent for our needs in a concentration which makes sense to focus our product development there,”​ Sampo Parkkinen, CEO of Revieve, told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

Valencia, Parkkinen said, had numerous “digital nomads”​ and talented university students and graduates, many of whom were already accustomed to working in English and for foreign companies.

He said the development hub provided Revieve a central space to develop innovations, products and approaches – using technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality – that helped brands and retailers personalise the customer experience further. More specifically, there would be work on research and development, front-end development, back-end development, quality assurance and design for the 70+ beauty brands and retailers it was currently working with.

“This hub enables us to increase the speed and productivity of our product development and recruitment into product development, which greatly helps in our expansion,”​ he said.

Parkkinen said it was clear customer experience in beauty would “dominate and determine”​ which brands and retailers flourished in the coming years.

“Providing a personalised customer experience that the consumer comes back to and drives value for the consumer, across any digital touchpoint where the consumer interacts with the brand, is what we’re looking to facilitate for our partner brands and retailers,” ​he said.

More importantly, Parkkinen said Revieve would be focused on building and encouraging partnerships to advance the digital customer experience in beauty.

“We see a lot of companies providing different technologies and tools to personalise the beauty customer experience. However, for us, technologies and tools (including our own) are not the end outcome. We see a real opportunity in partnering more closely with brands and retailers and becoming a true partner in personalising the customer experience, combining also third-party technologies into our offering, in addition to our own.”​

Parkkinen said when it came to “major advances and adoptions”​ for the digitalisation of beauty customer experiences, Asia and North America were driving innovation ahead of Europe.

“Europe is catching up and there are a number of great examples of partner brands and retailers we are currently working with who are really forward-thinking when it comes to providing a digital beauty experience.”​

However, he said there remained “quite a big difference” ​in Europe between individual brands and retailers and how far along their progress was in digitalising the beauty experience, more so than in Asia in North America.

Laura Gurski, senior managing director and global lead for Consumer Goods and Services at strategy and consulting firm Accenture, previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe it was in fact Europe leading the charge on beauty technology, ahead of North America.​

Gurski said big European beauty players had “indexed more on technology”​ and invested more in the category.

Either way, Parkkinen said Revieve wanted to assist European beauty brands and retailers further personalise the beauty customer experience across numerous digital channels and consumer touchpoints.

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