The way people shop has been changing ever since the advent of online shopping. Traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ shops have struggled – with some failing and crashing out of the high street. But the survivors are now turning to innovation to help them compete. According to magazine AdWeek, 70 percent of businesses say that omni-channel strategies are important, very important, or critical to their success. One industry that’s looking closely at how technology can bring a new channel of advertising and revenue to them is retail, with a focus on customer experience. A good example of that is the use of camera technology to show people how they look in certain clothes, which is revolutionizing the clothing retail industry.
In a world where the battle for attention happens constantly all around us, new innovative ways of capturing those vital moments where a prospect is looking at your brand are emerging. One of these is precision marketing – the art of maximizing the relationship you have with your existing customers. According to Inc. Magazine, it is five to 10 times more expensive to find a new customer than to sell to an existing one. More traditional methods of doing this have been used by companies for a while now – like loyalty schemes.
One trend on the high street is delivering experiential shopping to customers – for example, hosting events in stores, entertaining people and providing much more of a personal service. These are all designed to give people an experience that they cannot get online, so bringing their spending power back to the high street. In some cases, the experiences are merged, with shoppers visiting a store to see what’s possible, and try out the products, but actually when they buy, it’s through the online store. So, we have entered an era when people could come out of a store and feel satisfied, even when they don’t have the product with them!
There is a secondary benefits to these methods too – through these activities you can find out a lot more about your customers - their shopping habits, for example, and popular items. This all feeds into the Holy Grail of effective marketing – understanding your customers and their decisions.
Marketeers’ quest has now turned to technology to bring exciting new experiences to the shop floor, and at the front of the queue for these changes is the fashion industry. One of these innovative methods uses a camera (for example Hikvision’s DeepinView Facial Recognition Camera) to capture a shopper’s gender and age to recommend suitable products, giving them an immersive experience.
Software can also recommend items – either as replacement, or even to complement, which increases the sale value. The DeepinView camera is armed with Deep Learning technology, which powers the smart element of the solution. Although the system does not keep records of those it scans, and so cannot identify them, it can detect how old they are and their gender using facial recognition. It can also be used to create a VIP customer scheme (with explicit permission from the customer) so that when the camera recognizes the customer entering the store, the sales attendants are alerted, with information about the customer. This means they can immediately approach them with a much more personalized service. This can really help shoppers and goes some way to make them feel special, understood and catered to individually.
With touch-screen capabilities, the signage can also be used to help shoppers to find the right products, by searching and navigating through available products.
All of this adds an element of fun into the experience, giving shoppers a positive feeling about the brand and increasing the likelihood that they will return and even share their experience with others.