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Photo: Alexandre Schneider/Getty

Big Tech — Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple — is using data and augmented reality in a push into the $265 billion-a-year beauty retail market.

Why it matters: Tech giants own increasingly granular data about the people who search, socialize and shop on their platforms, giving them a strong start at countering the current dominance of brick-and-mortar stores.

Amazon already has a 20% share of online beauty retail — and it's growing.

  • Walmart remains far and away the biggest beauty retailer in the U.S., capturing a whopping 27.6% of the total market in 2017, according to Coresight Research.
  • But Amazon has recently launched a line of low-priced, private-label personal care and beauty basics, like face washes and shaving creams, per market research firm CB Insights.

Google has partnered with Sephora, the iconic makeup brand, and Google Home users can book treatments at Sephora or take beauty quizzes.

  • Google's other weapon is the community of beauty influencers on YouTube whose videos get millions of views. Google is partnering with traditional beauty brands like Neutrogena that want to put their products in front of those viewers through ads on viral beauty vlogs, CB Insights says.

Facebook is using all parts of its platform in a concentrated beauty push.

  • It's experimenting with beauty bots that chat with customers on Messenger. It's also using augmented reality, where customers can "try on" products to see what they look like, per CB Insights.
  • It's mining advertising data to offer companies insights on what beauty products its users like and buy.

Apple is also working with developers on augmented reality apps that will let iPhone and iPad users try on makeup at home, CB Insights says.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.