Smart Shopping

From facial recognition mirrors to real-time business intelligence reports, the future of the physical retail outlet is here.

smart shopping

From facial recognition mirrors to real-time business intelligence reports, the future of the physical retail outlet is here.

Shopping at a retail outlet is no longer just about a customer stepping into the store, browsing through what's on the racks, buying a product (or not), then walking out of the shop. Technology is disrupting the retail game, from smart mirrors to facial analytics to real-time business intelligence reports. And it's both the retailer and the shopper that are benefitting from this.

Smart mirrors enhance the customer experience immensely. MemoryMirror enables shoppers to try on clothes and accessories – without actually trying anything on. With a few simple body gestures, customers can see 360-degree back and side views in new outfits, and also change colours and patterns easily. They can then complete an outfit by adding accessories – and all this is done in real time. Shoppers are also able to share photos of their style sessions with friends seamlessly and purchasing items is done with just one click.

Actimirror takes it a step further, as it engages the customer and also serves as a platform for data analytics. First, it delivers interactive media content – triggered by motion sensors – showing product descriptions and promotions, and customers can also choose from a selection of tutorials with professional artists showing the right application (make-up, hair, etc) techniques. Retailers can upgrade the store to a connected omni-channel hub, by adding tips, promotions or cross-selling. The intelligent mirror also extracts patterns, trends and actionable information from customer data sets for future use. Its face recognition function is able to detect gender, race, age, ethnicity and customer mood.

Intelligent face analytics is the gist of Eyeris, an emotion recognition software that reads facial expressions for reactions in real time. Video analytics and technology work together to understand users' feelings, giving retailers an edge when providing customisable experiences to shoppers.

And, when it comes to customisable content, augmented reality advertising is adding to the retail experience too. Through the Blippar app, retailers can add digital content to everyday objects, to enhance brand communications and inspire brand conversations by engaging customers like never before.

These days, retailers also have easy access to in-store analytics. For example, SkyREC gives retailers insights by analysing aspects such as customer traffic, customer demographics, store hot spots and effectiveness of window displays. The reports give retailers an overview of their operations and are useful insights for them to make functional and operational decisions across their store.

Also popular is Video Analytics as-a-Service (VaaaS), which gives retailers real-time business intelligence reports. Kai Square offers a cloud-based video analytics product that studies customer buying behaviour, with insights to help stores to sell more effectively.

It's also easier for retailers now to deal with their stock, with retail POS from the likes of StoreHub. Features include making it easy for stores to track and replenish their stock and see which products sell better than others. It also gives insights into customers' spending habits, to entice them with promotions and discounts. As a result, customers feel special and will keep coming back for more. 

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