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Posted by Haemin Seok, Minjee Chung, Eunha Chun and Eunju Ko at 10:04 - 0 Comments

What is your research on beauty focused on?

With the development of digital communication technology, several companies and brands around the world have implemented online marketing through mobile internet. The use of smartphones has increased significantly, and beauty companies in South Korea and beyond are adopting mobile applications as a tool to provide not only information about their products, but also enhance customer experience with news articles or product tutorials.

Focusing on this beauty mobile application (app) context, we first classified the reviews provided by online shoppers in different categories. We then studied how consumers perceive these products according to their differing classifications, and how product reviews written by other customers are an essential tool in the purchase decision-making process, influencing the intention to buy.

Cymera app

Cymera beauty app
Source: Neonbutmore

Why did you decide to research this topic?

Beauty products are growing in popularity around the world, particularly in the online market, where demand for online beauty products has shown fast growth. The interest in beauty has seen an extraordinary rise in South Korea.

To meet consumer demand, companies and brands are adjusting marketing and promotion to the digital mobile era, including beauty apps on smart phones. We felt the need to research such applications and to provide data that could help positively influence consumer opinion on beauty brands, focusing on the essential tool that creates trust: consumer reviews.

What did you find so far?

We have found that the elements that affect a consumer's perception of authenticity in online and mobile contexts are shaped not only by a beauty product's positive or negative reviews. These integrate subjective opinion provided by consumers that have already experienced the product, such as their own thoughts, tips, know-how, and reviews, thereby blending both positive and negative information. In addition, it was noticeable that information provided by the companies and brands that show authenticity help build positive attitudes toward the brand and help set the path to increased online suggestion and recommendation.

What are the (potential) implications of your work for practitioners?

When a brand starts running a mobile service, it is fundamental to consider the country's social and cultural environment when planning marketing and promotion. The reaction and awareness of the importance of consumer reviews may differ according to each social and cultural difference; however, being reviews by fellow customers is what makes them inherently valuable, as they can become essential sources for consumers who are trying to avoid risk in their online purchase. Due to the fact that authentic information is an important marketing element at a time where there is over-flowing data on offer, it is suggested that platforms are essentially required to provide positive, negative or subjective evaluations (know-how, tips) on their online platforms.

Creating an environment where online reviews are categorised, especially in the mobile device context, is necessary in order to encourage consumers to make purchases. They have more faith in the authentic information a customer review provides, which in turn helps to form positive attitudes towards a particular product or brand.

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