Visual search is key emerging trend in the retail technology sector, with 45% of UK retailers claiming to be using it in their brand strategies, including Asos, Boohoo, M&S, eBay and Argos.
This trend is generally believed to be more important where retailers are selling high ticket items, such as furniture, as it offers a premium level of service expected in this segment, whereby customers can get a feel for how the item will look in their own home.
Beauty brand, Sephora, offer another example of this new shopping dynamic, with their Sephora Virtual Artist app, which uses AI and AR to allow users to superimpose products onto their own face. Through the app, customers can also receive beauty tips, and be notified about their favourite products’ stock, with Sephora using geolocation technology and past purchase information to offer premium levels of service.
Unsurprisingly, the more customers can visualise how the item will fit into their lives, the more likely they are to buy-into, and engage with, the product and brand.
As the nuances between shopper and brand evolve, retailers globally are responding with new strategies for growth incorporating individual customer needs, that can be deployed in a way which is scalable to multiple customers, and adaptable to industry changes. Recent statistics show that a third of UK retailers are expected to invest six figure sums on technology over the next 18 months.
In digital signage, AV brings a new element to the in-store experience, with new technologies allowing marketeers to link store content with online campaigns, which can be easily updated and scheduled through Open Source-enabled screens and managed continuously through content management systems (CMS). They are a highly effective medium as not only are customers influenced more directly by the visual element of campaigns, whilst also being in the perfect environment for making purchase decisions, customers also generally react well to technology, and are drawn in by innovative displays, and by new experiences that link through to product information, lifestyle content and media.