Need a moment for yourself to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? SOAP will pamper you in one of their beauty treatment stores. We were challenged to translate their successful in-store experience to a powerful digital experience. Key in their success is the personal guidance from their educated beauty experts. Translate this to the digital world and you get AI-driven chat bot Aida.
Founded in 2005, SOAP treatment store is a beauty salon chain with luxury stores all around the Netherlands. The stores offer a widespread variety of innovative and top-quality products, ranging from facials, to manicures and botox. At the top we can find two sisters, who were chosen amongst the 100 most successful female entrepreneurs in our country.
What is prescriptionTM
Smart beauty advice from an AI-driven chatbot
So let’s meet Aida. Just like any other in-store expert would do, chatbot Aida examines skin concerns of customers. Think of questions about your ideal skin condition, its sensitivity and allergies. After the examination, Aida gives tailored beauty advice in the form of a prescriptionTM. This displays Aida’s suggested beauty products and how and why to use them. Oh, and not to forget, it’s just one click away from ordering these products at SOAP, so you can start with the treatment right away.
This flow isn’t any different than in the physical stores, which is exactly what SOAP envisioned. But we are also lifting it up to a higher level. By adding AI to the equation, we can train Aida to become smarter and smarter. Data from human experts can be collected and put into Aida’s AI engine. For this, Aida’s collective intelligence will ensure she makes the best possible beauty advice.
A custom-tailored solution to make everyone happy
SOAP’s ambitions were obviously sky-high. In Sprint 0 we discovered the system required quite advanced functionality and there were no sufficient plugins available. We strongly advised SOAP to go for a custom-tailored solution. This immediately put us in full control, which was very beneficial in many ways. One benefit was that we could tune our design fully to their needs. Through quick iterations with wireframes and mockups we could find a design that worked for everyone. Another benefit was our technical freedom. We were dealing with many existing systems, including their Magento webshop and salon software. We now had the ability to build an architecture around these, connecting them seamlessly. A last benefit was the customizability of the system. SOAP can always change Aida’s questions in the future, since we built our proprietary “questions plugin” ourselves. So to conclude, yes, a custom-tailored solution is a lot of work. But it can also bring many advantages and happy faces for everyone.