Retailers Try Spiff-up Metaverse Shopping CX

When people talk about the metaverse, they tend to think of fully immersive reality brought in through a video headset.

But there is another part that is closer technologically to the wide field of Extended Reality (XR) which has much more uses today, particularly in retail, especially when it is augmented by artificial intelligence (AI).

Augmented reality (AR) technology is already working and is already in use for a virtual “try before you buy”.

AI-enhanced web augmented reality from retailers like Ikea allows you to pick up a piece of furniture, look through your mobile screen while taking a live picture of a room in your home and see that piece of furniture superimposed on it, allowing you to experiment with different models and colors. Or see how a piece of clothing looks on you.

On top of that, consumers are relatively familiar with the basics of technology, thanks to Instagram and Snapchat filters, as well as Pokemon GO, which sent hordes of players in search of randomly placed Pokemon game characters across towns and cities across the country who could Only it can be seen through the smartphone app.

In some ways, the game’s significance exceeded its popularity because it was simple enough to make everyone understand the technology and its possibilities even without playing it.

Try before you buy

Fashion house Dior has turned on augmented reality shoe “experiments” that let buyers see how different styles and colors will look on them, and uses an Instagram filter to let customers try on sunglasses, Fashion ABC mentioned in September. Gap has an AR dressing room that “allows consumers to digitally experience their collections… [and] Sephora offers an in-store and mobile app technology tool that helps consumers visualize how different colors and makeup will look on them, the report said.

Walmart went even better last month, launching an AI-powered virtual experience tool that lets customers see clothes for themselves, upload photos and then “dress” them with a piece of clothing so people can see what their body shape, skin tone and hair color would look like, TechCrunch pointed. The technology can analyze clothing in catalogs and “identify different variations of a product, including size, color, and other factors — such as fabric draping or sleeve length, for example.”

There’s a fair amount of overlap with VR, which is a more immersive experience with more extensive tech needs – full video headsets, because they’re basically a metaverse, whether they’re in an entire device like Decentraland, or in smaller private companies. Like graphics chip maker Nvidia and consulting giant Deloitte, it has been pushing for everything from manufacturing to virtual test drives.

See also: Nvidia, Deloitte Beat Meta to Punch With Enterprise VR . Presentation

Practically richer

But virtual reality can do more with augmented reality experiences such as virtual dressing rooms that allow both cartoon avatars and photo-realistic models to try on virtual clothes.

Reality’s Reactive Reality technology – which it calls Mixed Reality (MR) – does a similar job to Walmart’s tool, but customers can see themselves “wearing items from any angle and also position our avatar in many different environments, such as offices, beaches or nightclubs.” Forbes pointed In an article published in July, he described digital dressing rooms as part of the “future of fashion retail”.

They can solve “one of the biggest problems with online shopping, which we all know is the ability to try and try products before you buy them” and especially “get accurate recommendations on size,” said Stefan Hauswesner, co-founder and CEO of Interactive Reality. However, he added, “scaling is one of the big issues that needs improvement.”

Moreover, retailers can also gather a huge amount of information from digital dressing room experiences, such as “the most popular items among people with certain body shapes… [and] What items can be additionally sold or sold.

Metaverse-style virtual reality can also become more interactive than augmented reality, particularly when paired with artificial intelligence, making the customer experience more personal, Scott Kersner, CEO and Co-Founder of Innovation Leader, He said At the US Chamber of Commerce’s carbon dioxide website last July. “A car salesman – human or artificial intelligence – can enter a digital car with you and talk to you through some features. There may be stylists who can talk to you about your best appearance, and help you try on different clothes or hair styles, without having to be in the same room “.

Better customer experience

Another big part of AR is the customer experience, which translates to the bottom line.

“If applied correctly, augmented reality has the potential to deliver the game-changing customer experiences that consumers today crave,” He said Amy Balliet, Senior Fellow in Visual Strategy at Material, is in a column at August Inc.

Referring to testing an AR ad by a cosmetics brand, Balliett said that not only did the company get a 53% higher CTR, but customers tried 7.5 more shades of lipstick, on average, than in previous campaigns.

“In addition to increasing confidence in purchasing decisions, augmented reality has also been shown to increase brand recognition and retention,” she added, noting that neuroscience researchers found a 70% increase in information retention with augmented reality ads.

For all the uses of AI-powered augmented reality in retail shopping and dozens of other areas from mobility to healthcare, its current uses are mostly 2D, first and foremost because glasses or headphones that would allow users to experience a digital overlay on reality. does not exist. It must have been something like Google Glass from ten years ago in early 2013 which was actually pretty low key – people were scrolling because it was recognizable and so hot, not weird.

Just like virtual reality systems need a small, lightweight, high-quality headset, augmented reality glasses have to be daily wearable – which isn’t too close.

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