If you’ve ever watched a makeup tutorial on YouTube, you’re familiar with how difficult it is to replicate. But with the help of retail technology company Memomi, Neiman Marcus now has a smart MemoryMirror at its cosmetics counter that will record your makeover session in the perfect light and note all the products used. The video can then be sent to your phone, allowing you to use it as a tutorial when you get home, or to share sections with your friends for their input.
A similar mirror will take video clips of you wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses and then let you compare up to four different styles side by side. A big benefit here is the ability to see what new frames look like on you, even when it’s hard to see because you don’t have your own glasses on! This input can lead you to a great purchase — and give Neiman Marcus valuable feedback about your selections.
Both investments in the shopping experience are bold moves in an economy where online shopping is maturing and offline sales are stalling. Foot traffic is down, more retailers have filed for bankruptcy to date in 2017 compared to all of 2016, and shopping malls are increasingly becoming relics of an American past. Yet, for savvy retailers, technology holds the key not only to growing their online business but also to saving their “brick and mortar” stores.
“A retailer’s challenge today is that people are staying at home and shopping online,” says Dawn Burrows, senior program manager for the Adobe@Adobe Innovation Team. “They are trying to get people to come back into the store, and one of the ways they’re doing that is to bring digital experiences into the actual physical space.”
The rich experiences stores are fashioning today may radically change the way you view in-store shopping in the future. From smart mirrors to augmented reality (AR) to entertainment, retail brands are experimenting with all types of technology to make your trip to their store time well spent, for both you and them.
Experiencing the Future
The real challenge of bringing technology to the store is to ensure it is used in a way that moves beyond the “wow” factor and adds value to your shopping experience. If retailers get that right, the outcome also will tie back to their goals of getting you to make a purchase, and then keeping you coming back for more.
Augmented reality (AR). Imagine walking by a store and having relevant information delivered to your phone based on your personal preferences. Once in the store, an AR headset or glasses can help you compare products, view details, and even scroll through reviews on social media simply by looking at the merchandise in your hand.
Add in social sharing technology and the possibilities go much further. Think about tagging specific merchandise with AR notes that you share with your friends — whether you are sharing what you love for yourself or making recommendations for others.