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19 Dec

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Amazon VP Dishes on Recent Beauty Video Shopping App

Scrubbing through a video, in search of the important thing a part of a makeup tutorial or skincare regimen, may soon grow to be a thing of the past, due to the kind of artificial intelligence at the center of Trendio Live, a latest video shopping platform for prestige beauty that debuted on mobile and Roku TV streaming.

For Alex Perez-Tenessa, a former beauty industry executive who went on to run Amazon Prime Video within the U.S., and his cofounder, tech start-up guru David Olmos, the app works like a serum correcting an annoying blemish on the face of video commerce: the hit-or-miss frustration of tweaking a timeline to seek out the parts to skip or watch. Given the outsized influence of streaming product demos, suggestions and tricks and similar visual media on beauty purchasing decisions, it’s easy to consider that streamlining the entire affair could please viewers and even speed the trail to checkout. It’s the TikTok approach to constructing an audience, with data intelligence weaving an countless, ultimately addicting feed of clips.

But for Trendio, populating feeds is barely a part of the equation. The system also reshapes the actual content, programmatically editing videos to suit each user based on the person’s buying, browsing and viewing habits, to craft an experience with singular appeal.

Perez-Tenessa, now Trendio’s chief executive officer, elaborated in an exclusive interview: “We’re leveraging video AI to auto edit the content, so it’ll be most compelling to each individual customer, creating video content that’s truly personalized. I don’t think that anybody is doing that today.”

The premise goals to fill the chasm between the physical cosmetics counter and the net store. The previous offers focused advice and explanations, nevertheless it’s costly. E-commerce, adept at volume, can fail at guidance, resulting in customer abandonment.

Enter bespoke video as a tool for beauty commerce, instruction and even entertainment. Perez-Tenessa believes its time has come since the concept wouldn’t have been possible three years ago. But after advances in video tech and the adoption of more devices paved the way in which, he “saw a chance to deal with this need for educated shopping in nonrecurring categories — specifically in beauty.”

Alex Perez-Tenessa, formerly of Amazon and CVS, now cofounder and CEO of Trendio

The experience is unified and cross-platform, with viewers capable of tune into the iPhone or Android app on their smartphones, in addition to the streaming TV app, also generally known as “channel” in Roku parlance. While that’s commonplace for shopping initiatives, the difference with Trendio is its approach to the video content itself. The more the system gets to know the buyer, the more it could fine-tune the video editing.

“We track what they do at a really granular level, at a timestamp level, something [most or maybe none of the other] players do. After which we’re constructing and training the models to give you the chance to auto-edit the videos, in order that what the shopper sees really matches what they’re interested by for any given product,” the CEO said. People can fly through these edited clips, TikTok-style on their phones or watch with friends on television as a type of entertainment in their very own right. In the event that they see something of particular interest, they’ll click to observe the longer version.

The concept looks like a rarity amongst tech and e-commerce solutions. Apparently others agree, with Perez-Tenessa and Olmos bringing in Amazon Live alum Julie Novak and former Glossier head of makeup category management Leah Grubb to work on the platform. Armed with seed round funding from Madrona, a enterprise capital firm that backed Amazon early on, Trendio assembled an advisory board that included former QVC board member Michael Zeisser, founding father of Amazon Live Munira Rahemtulla and former Zulily CEO Jeff Yurcisin.


The app’s video AI personalizes the actual content, editing it based on the user’s preferences and habits.

Courtesy photo

In keeping with Perez-Tenessa, many platforms can offer 30-second product overviews but “we consider that for those who find something you’re interested by at these price points, you’re going to need to learn a bit of bit more.”

An extended format offers room to cover the finer points of offerings from Merit, Philosophy, Ursa Major, Nudestix, Kjaer Weis, Joanna Vargas, Coola, Avene and others. Forty brands can be found at launch, with each product vetted for high-quality ingredients and efficacy. In reality, practically every part on the platform was rigorously curated, including the creators. But not the content.

“Once they’re with us, we allow them to select,” Perez-Tenessa said. Creators work on a commission basis tied to sales, so there aren’t any incentives to hype one product or brand over one other. “It’s super vital for us to not mandate that…we would like to ensure that the products they promote, they really love.”

The calculus of Trendio’s social video pipeline starts with 75 content creators at launch. They produce a median of 5 videos each day, amounting to greater than 300 videos, with plans to step as much as greater than 1,000 and maintain a fresh set of 1,000 to three,000 videos on an ongoing basis. While that will show exponential growth, it’s modest for a social or video commerce platform, especially in light of today’s binging habits.

But like other features, the corporate seems less concerned with quantity than quality.

Whether via video upload or through live shopping events, creators craving more flexibility and autonomy may find the proposition attractive. They pick the products to feature, and there’s no pressure to cram numerous information right into a transient clip. They’re encouraged to do deep dives on their favorite makeup or skincare — Trendio’s two principal categories for now — in quite a lot of ways, from demonstrating suggestions and techniques to sharing what moved them a couple of founder’s story. Then the video AI slices and dices the footage, promising to spotlight the perfect bits, whatever they might be for every viewer.


Perez-Tenessa guarantees entertaining and interesting content offered by a vetted crew of creators.

Courtesy photo

The concept touches on the hotly debated issue of optimal social video length. For some time, TikTok’s popularity appeared to clinch the win for brief formats, setting off an array of clones. Instagram has been heavily promoting its Reels short videos and YouTube Shorts just hit a milestone in October by breaking 15 billion global views. Even Amazon, Perez-Tenessa’s former employer, has been encouraging the influencers and creators who tout its marketplace goods to maintain it transient, calling lower than one minute ideal.

Meanwhile, the controversial ByteDance-owned sensation that set off the video sprints has been steadily expanding its maximum length for TikTok videos, likely in service of advancing its own shopping initiative.

Although social media and e-commerce platforms remain obsessive about brevity, plenty support each formats. Just not in the identical video.

Whether it ultimately makes much difference to the wonder consumer is an open and fair query. The Trendio CEO believes that it does. Prior to his stint as Amazon’s vp accountable for the books after which U.S. video divisions, Perez-Tenessa was a VP accountable for beauty and private care at the biggest pharmacy business within the country.

“After I was running U.S. Prime Video, I used to be exposed to latest technologies in video and latest shifts in audience demands that opened up opportunities, they usually were related to what I had experienced as an executive running the wonder business for CVS, which was that beauty is a sophisticated category,” he said.

“It’s a science-based category where you should explain the product, and the story behind the product, and demo the product for people to know why they’re price what they cost and why they should purchase one product slightly than the opposite one.”

Doing that in an interesting way is harder than it sounds, but for beauty brands, it’s essential. Because one in every of the gravest retail sins conceivable is committing an act of tedium. That’s very true online, where the short and quippy have long ruled — though, perhaps not anymore.

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