Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the retail environment. As retailers seek innovative new ways to increase footfall in bricks and mortar stores and join up the physical shopping experience with the digital channels through which they engage with consumers, it is believed that these two technologies will bring the old-fashioned shopping trip into the twenty-first century.
The smart mirror, as demonstrated by fashion brands Superdry and Ralph Lauren, has been hailed as a fun interactive feature attracting customers into store and enabling consumers to try items on without taking anything off. But before the wider retail industry follows suit by implementing such innovations, the consumer’s experiences and expectations of these offerings should be measured.
The dawn of AI brings many helpful possibilities for the consumer. These include smart kiosks, mobile payment systems and in-store tracking to develop a deeper understanding of the requirements of the individual consumer enabling retailers to target them with personalized offers.
These smart solutions are designed to bring the ease of online shopping to the physical shopping experience. However, without gauging the potential reaction from consumers, the ‘retail theatre’ could prove to be an expensive distraction, and a waste of money for retailers implementing AI and AR solutions in their stores.