By Alice Chang, CEO and Founder, Perfect Corp
The battle for consumer attention is heating up. Today, consumers are shopping across multiple channels and digital touchpoints, from in-store through to in-app and via social media, making it harder to captivate, entertain and ultimately retain shoppers in the long run.
Brands and retailers have therefore sought increasingly innovative ways to reach shoppers and personalise the shopping experience. One of the biggest trends recently has been the increased investment in the metaverse and the world of Web3, particularly with emerging technologies, as this new digital world opens up fresh ways for brands to connect.
While some brands are dipping their toes into this new realm, one steadfast solution to personalise the consumer journey is through the power of AI and AR technology which allows brands to offer shoppers a new type of interactive and Immersive experience.
Personalisation is the Key to Consumer Retention
According to a recent report, 62% of consumers worldwide expect personalisation and 84% of online shoppers say personalisation influences their purchase. Personalisation has quickly become table stakes for brands as shoppers begin to demand product recommendations tailored to their individual needs and preferences.
As a result of this growing demand, AI-powered virtual try-on (VTO) solutions are becoming a ‘must-have’ component of brand omnichannel digital strategies. This is all the more crucial post-pandemic, where there are growing concerns around hygiene and product testers in beauty. By harnessing this ‘try-before-you-buy’ technology, brands can offer shoppers a contactless experience as well as a plethora of different products to try on and experiment with virtually, whether customers are shopping in-store or online.
Powerful and accurate AI/AR technology can help increase purchasing confidence, as well as boost sales and engagement for brands. An example of this is e.l.f. Cosmetics, which experienced a 200% uplift in sales conversions after implementing virtual try-on technology for their beauty products online and in-app.
Personalising and Supercharging Experiences with Shoppertainment
In this new retail landscape, brands must also focus on how to incorporate new customer-centric, interactive experiences into the shopping journey. Insight from Accenture earlier this year predicts that social commerce will grow three times as fast as traditional ecommerce, and social media live-streaming is fast becoming a place for brands to entertain consumers during the shopping journey.
Also known as ‘shoppertainment’, these fun and engaging experiences add an experiential aspect to shopping. Live streams, interactive Q & As with beauty advisors, and user-generated content from influencers give customers a more personalised look at beauty products, while providing valuable tips on how consumers can use and enjoy products. These hyper-engaged experiences can be taken to the next level through the integration of AI/AR, allowing viewers to try-on products virtually and experience the product from their smartphone or laptop before purchasing. When brands integrate entertaining and interactive experiences with the use of AR/AI technology, they accelerate the research phase of the shopping journey and ultimately help foster more engaged, satisfied shoppers. These AR-powered experiences help customers find their perfect product match, while creating entertaining brand experiences that further drive product discovery.
As with any new innovation or experience, it can take some time for consumers to fully embrace and integrate new technologies into their everyday lives. As digital world continues to evolve, brands must be on the forefront of creating tech-enabled shopping experiences that capture consumer interest and personalise the shopping journey. With AI/AR technology, brands can harness the most advanced solutions to reach customers in a powerful, meaningful way across all channels.