Retail is constantly becoming a competitive landscape and retailers are looking at innovating solutions at fast pace to win customers’ satisfaction. Few of the biggest tech trends that are grabbing headlines in the retail space are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR).These two buzz words are successfully fetching the attention of retail IT leaders across the globe.
In fact, these are the technologies that help shoppers try out whatever they like virtually, which ultimately help them in making better purchase decision without spending much time and effort . Hence, these technologies are creating an ease for consumers as well as retailers. Global retailers such as Zara, H&M, Uniqlo amongst others are already using these technologies at full scale.
However, if we look at Indian retail, the deployment of these technologies is at a nascent stage but are catching up fast. Following are few Indian retailers who have already done it all, and can serve as case studies to others.
RENT IT BAE
Launched in 2016, RENT IT BAE offers fashion subscription at affordable pricing. It offers a vast variety of clothes and accessories from popular brands, luxury brands and Indian ethnic designer wears. And, for those who have an eye for exclusive stuff, they have an in-house brand to cater to that passion for fashion as well. The company has installed AI and AR solutions at their stores located in the capital city New Delhi
Show & Pop: a smart screen installed inside the store, which allows the customer to get all the necessary details about the product's price, fabrics, rental charges, availability of sizes and much more by just placing the merchandise in front of the smart screen.
Talk to the Store: A debut brick & mortar store is voice-enabled and customers can speak out their requirements and the smart screen puts forth all the available choices.
Wear and Share: With technology being at the core, RENT IT BAE provides the ultimate experience to their customers where they can compare all their trials. The users have to just wear an attire and stand in front of the screen and move clockwise, their 360 degree view would be recorded, and displayed together with all the trials easing the comparison. Also, with just tapping on the trial video of their favourite grab, customers will have it on their RENT IT BAE application, convenient for them to ask from family and friends for opinion.
Speaking on the AI/VR technologies, Aanchal Saini, CEO & Founder at RENT IT BAE, said,“Interactive mirrors are the future of retail. We have successfully built the voice recognition capabilities in our RIB app which can help a user apply voice filters and get to their desired products.”
An AI enabled premium service centre powered by Tresor Systems has recently opened its doors exclusively for Apple users in the heart of the city at Connaught Place, New Delhi. Conceptualised with the core fundamental of enhancing customer experience, CaféTresor comes with a uniquely designed customer service assistant. The service centre is equipped with ‘Alisha’, a virtual assistant, with enhanced AI capabilities to drive a smoother and faster customer experience.
Once a customer is registered, Alisha ensures an agent is available in stipulated time for faster checkouts. Alisha is equipped with Speech Recognition, Computer Vision, Voice-to-Text and Text-to-Voice, all of which enables the cognitive engagement with the customers. Apple customers can avail this premium service in the form of an AI based concierge that manages the customer waiting time, service efficiency and overall customer experience.
Speaking on the technology, Shaurya Seth, Managing Director of Tresor Systems, said, “Through an elaborated research we have noticed customer experience and engagement being compromised at every point due to the absence of standardization and control in case of manual intervention. Alisha is an outcome of our research to fill-in this gap and enhance customer experience.”
Leading jewellery retailer Tanishq has partnered with Milestone Brandcom, an outdoor specialist agency to install augmented reality (AR) kiosks at Delhi and Bangaluru airports in order to elevate the jewellery shopping experience. The kiosk used VR enabled technology called as ‘MirrAR’, which lets customers virtually try outjewellery as many times as they wish to.
The AR platform has been created in collaboration with StyleDotMe– a startup focused on the innovative application of AR and AI technologies for customer experiences.
Lenskart offers 3D face modeling, a virtual trial service, which allows consumers to virtually try the frames. The technology measures the user’s face from multiple angles to virtually map the face and then when the user tries on a frame, they can swipe on the image to turn the head to the left and right to get a view of the glasses from different angles. This online 3D face modelling trial provides preferences and historical data to make frame selection faster, more effective and fun for the buyers.
Delhi-based Lenskart has invested over 1 $1 million to acquire the minority stake in US-based startup Ditto which offers 3D face modeling service. Lenskart has been active user of Ditto’s service since 2016 for its website and the app.