Retailers have to be a bit of a media company, a bit of a social media company, and a bit of a game maker. After all, people go to the store not only for shopping; for many; it is a way to have a good time and get impressions. In a saturated market, retailers compete not only for the customer but also for the viewer, doing truly amazing things.
Money In The Retail And E-commerce Market
Before moving on to the technology itself, let’s take a moment to assess the size of the market. According to a report by e-marketer.com, retailer sales are still growing in brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce, although the pace of growth is declining. At the same time, the share of online stores in total retail sales is increasing: in 2019, it will be 14.1%, and by 2023 it will grow to 22%.
Digital Technologies In Retail
According to Salesforce research, 56% of those surveyed tend to buy from the most innovative companies. Leading companies in Russia realize this: M.Video is implementing augmented reality for in-store navigation, and X5 Retail Group opened an experimental large-format Perekrestok in August with self-service checkouts and electronic price tags. Next, we will describe other technologies retailers use to attract more customers.
Digital Signage (digital sign) is a solution at the intersection of multimedia and digital technologies. It allows you to centrally manage a network of screens of various kinds: small LCD monitors and huge LED facades; you can upload and edit content remotely in real-time.
When integrated with digital systems, such solutions allow it to show potential buyers unique content and collect statistics: gender, age, and even determine the reaction to the video viewed using computer vision.
A great example of digital signage is the anti-tobacco campaign from the Swedish pharmacy chain Pharmacy Heart. The company used a screen equipped with smoke sensors, on which the image of a man began to cough and wince when people smoked next to him.
Another interesting case belongs to Benetton. In 2010, the brand launched the Benetton live windows project in its flagship stores, thanks to which passers-by could feel like the face of the company. Cameras and special equipment transmitted the image of a person to electronic storefronts installed in the store instead of windows.
AR And VR
World market leaders are already implementing augmented and virtual reality in retail: Amazon, Target, Lowes, and Ikea. Made.com, a fast-growing furniture brand from the UK, offers customers the opportunity to find the right sofa for their decor using their Find My Style app.
The “fitting” takes place in real-time and uses a smartphone camera. The client chooses the model he likes, points the camera at the desired part of the room, and sees how it will look in a particular space. In this case, the buyer can change the product for himself: choose a different color or upholstery material.
If you walk into one of Neiman Marcus’ luxury department stores, you’ll see smart mirrors that use AR, AI, and gesture recognition. These mirrors, like the virtual fitting room, allow customers to change the color of their favorite model or see how different combinations of accessories and outfits look.
Similar technologies are used in Lamoda’s virtual fitting room. In August, the company launched an AR shoe-appropriate feature on its iOS app. Choose the model you like from the catalog to understand how sneakers will sit and point the smartphone camera at your foot. The same update for Android will be made in September.
He uses AR navigation in his experimental Crossroads app. It helps to lay the best route through the store and quickly find the right products.
Action from “Dixie” “Look, dinosaurs!”, implemented using augmented reality, showed impressive results: the network’s turnover during the event grew by 3%, and sales of sponsored goods grew by 50-500%. Half a million people downloaded the application “Look, dinosaurs in Dixie!” during the action.
Turning on the application and then pointing the smartphone camera at the promotional sticker, one could see a 3D dinosaur model in augmented reality. And if you use special glasses, the lizard comes to life and growls in the virtual.
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