The Future of Immersive Customer Experience in the Retail Sector

Millennials and Generation Zconsumers are expecting a much deeper level of personalization in today's environment, where brands and retailers should understand their patterns and nodes of interests.
customer experience

Are you preparing to bring anything new to the in-store experience?

If your answer is “no,” then elevate yourself. The coming years could be rough for your retail business.

The trend is captivated by sci-fi hype in the industry. As retailers search for new ways to provide immersive customer experience, the technology is leading the charge. It has the power to revolutionize our shopping behavior, alter our purchasing habits, and make our favorite brands more accessible. More than just changing habits, however, these new forms of reality promise to transform the entire customer experience as they add new layers of perception.

So let’s have a look how the present is about the experience, and the future is all about magic-

AI-based customer recognition at entry

Humans recognize faces with experience- the more we see, the faster we recognize. A face recognition system, when fed with an image or a video scene, identifies and recognizes a person from a database of facial images.AI-enabled facial recognition is vital for the retail industry as it can help retailers understand their customers better and deliver improved customer experiences.Moreover, identification of crucial parameters like past experiences, changes in appearance, etc. can be recognized at the entry point - leading to better upsell/cross-sell and hence, generating quick and effective conversion. 


Paperless and Counter-less Checkouts

The concept of self-checkout isn’t new, but Amazon has definitely breathed a new life into it by introducing Amazon Go Store.You won't see a single cashier, cash register, or self-service checkout stand. Such things have no place in the future. They allow customers to just grab what they need and walk out without scanning products or waiting in line to check out items. Amazon bills your credit card as you pass through the turnstile on your way out. Moments later, an app in your phone provides a receipt detailing what you've bought, what you paid, and even how long you spent inside. Happy times for the shoplifters are coming!

See offline, buy online 

The concept of showrooming and webrooming is quite prevailing in the industry, as the result of changing consumer shopping habits. Survey findings show that 56% of shoppers say they visit stores — at least occasionally — to first see, touch and feel products before buying them online. Turning physical retail space into showrooms — where customers can try and test products and generally get to know the product better before making the final purchase online — may be the logical next step for retailing.

In-Store Navigation through AR

Here’s how it works - AR routing can show where is situated something customer wants to find. Also, AR routing can be applied to compose an optimized shopping route, which is a blessing for those who dig it. Another exciting AR retail routing solution involves gamification of the customer experience. In this case, the route leads not only to the product but for some gifts or discounts or other pleasant surprises.

Customization is the Key

One of the best ways to provide a cohesive customer experience is by offering them 100% customized websites. Millennials and Generation Zconsumers are expecting a much deeper level of personalization in today’s environment, where brands and retailers should understand their patterns and nodes of interests. One such term is turning the insights and analytics of the users you collect and turn it into action. Machine learning and AI are changing the game by streaming live data and curating products in real time – based on their understanding of each customer.PwC’s survey suggests that retailers should follow to deliver a more personalized in-store experience, including where customers shopped last, what they previously purchased, what other websites they’re searching for those products, and what is their motivation to convert and more.

Auto recommendation from past purchase

Imagine a store where 99 percent of the items are selected for a customer based on their history and preferences. A store where the inventory, messaging, prices and sizes are dynamically changed for you. A generic, aggregative understanding of customer behavior is no longer enough. Individual segmentation is the next step for retailers looking to create a super-personalised experience for their users. They need to make hyper-granular behavioural profiles of the usage habits of their individual customers so that the retailers can make enormous product recommendations for their customers, based on each person’s past purchase and browsing history.

Robotic shop assistants
We’ve gotten used to chat-bots in online stores, but, as the border between online and offline is blurring, we see robots getting into the brick-and-mortar shops to serve us. Retailers are planning to use robots for inventory management, retrieving orders, product customization, customer assistance, and even straight-up employee replacement.

Step up your game with Holograms and VR

We’re living in the age of experience, and nothing has a wow factor quite like holographic technology. Holograms and virtual reality (VR) in its physical stores allow consumers to see how a particular product will look on them with the help of virtual trial sections and HoloLens.

TryLive Apparel and Dressing Room by Gap allow customers to select a garment from the virtual shelf, and then choose their clothing size and body shape. This AR based instant fitting guide comes with 360⁰ rotational model, allowing the shopper to get a better idea of fitting and measurements of the clothes.  Also, VR based apparel try-on apps can collect accurate body measurements and can give you the exact virtual look for a better shopping experience.

The article has been penned down by Ambud Sharma, CEO, Escaro Royale.


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