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How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Retail Experience

July 24, 2019


It’s not breaking news that rapid advancements in technology have changed the way that businesses operate – and perhaps the industry that’s been impacted the most is retail. The migration towards online eCommerce platforms and the emphasis on the integration of digital technologies have shifted the industry away from the traditional ways of doing business. Now more than ever, consumers have a voice and are able to tell brands what they like – and what they don’t. 

Requests like same-day shipping and seamless in-store experiences are things that customers now demand as part of any retail experience. Technology like artificial intelligence and augmented reality are able to make these requirements a reality, but many brands are often overwhelmed with where to begin when it comes to interactive retail experiences. 

Here’s at Art & Science, we’re extremely interested in the impact that technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality have had on the retail industry. 

Below, we’ve outlined some AR/AI implementations that have truly hit the mark when it comes to the future of these technologies in the retail space. 

Sephora

Through the use of augmented reality feature, Sephora created the Visual Artist App – an app that allowed users to upload a still image of their face so they could virtually “try on’’ different products that were available for purchase at Sephora. Modiface, the developer of Sephora’s app, found that sales declined by approximately 22% when the product did not accurately show itself on the user’s face. The latest update of this application took this into account, using augmented 3D technology to allow users to see themselves moving in real time, giving shoppers a more accurate idea of what the product will look like. The Visual Artist App not only shows the importance of beta state user testing, but how companies and consumers benefit from productive feedback related to the product. 

Lacoste 

With the goal of reaching and engaging a younger audience, Lacoste created the LCST Mobile experience. Using a mobile app, customers were able to virtually try on shoes in store. Additionally, the app allowed Lacoste to display in store signage, window displays and other promotional materials. The hard work paid off – approximately 30,000 users interacted with the 3D products when using the application. With many companies focusing on augmenting the online experience, we think this is a great example of using technology to improve the physical in-store experience. 

American Apparel 

Similarly to Lacoste, American Apparel focused on developing an app that augmented the already existing store experience. Users were able to scan photos of the products in store to then instantly receive more information about the product, including colours, sizes and customer reviews. 

Topshop

Topshop partnered with the company AR Door to create a virtual changing room for their Moscow flagship store. Shoppers stood in-front of the screen and were able to digitally impose clothing on themselves and were able to switch outfits using simple hand gestures. Although the technology wasn’t able to perfectly mimic the way that clothing looks on a person, it’s a great example of the potential that AR and AI technology have in a retail setting. 

 

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