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TECHNOLOGY

Beauty powerhouse adds high-tech tool to its stores

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Ulta Beauty chain is adding a new “consultant” to its in-store team.

Through its partnership with hair color brand Madison Reed, Ulta is deploying a color-recognition chatbot (called Madi) that gives consultations similar to those customers receive from a professional colorist in a hair salon.

Described by Madison Reed as the industry’s first-ever color-recognition chatbot, Madi combines artificial intelligence and selfies to engage in-store shoppers.

Here’s how it works: In- store customers looking for a hair color text “Hello” to 34757, activating Madi on their mobile device. The tool will prompt the shopper to upload a selfie focused on her face and hair, then followup with a few quick questions. Based on the guest’s responses, Madi will recommend the perfect Madison Reed hair color.

“For traditional hair color companies, technology is an add-on at the very end,” said Amy Errett, CEO and co-founder of Madison Reed. “For us, it’s a starting place for everything around an enhanced customer experience. We are proud to partner with Ulta Beauty to give customers access to our prestige hair color products and introduce them to Madi, which is convenient, seamless and fun.”

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