Retail stores are constantly evolving. From Mom and Pop stores to large retail chains, companies that adapt to change survive and thrive. Unfortunately for companies like Blockbuster and Borders, refusing to adapt or adapting too late could result in a reduction in revenue or even bankruptcy. The differentiator in the retail sector has been technology. Among those technologies finding their way into the retail spaces is interactive mixed reality.
Interactive mixed reality is a relatively new concept, but some retail stores have already deployed the technology. Lowe’s piloted their HoloLens solution last year in 2 locations. By working with an in-store expert and showroom, customers can interact with digital images and extra information superimposed on physical objects in a kitchen. Selecting from a wide variety of Lowe’s products in a mixed reality environment allows the customer to see the result of their potential purchases without any assumptions or guesswork. The HoloLens project was successful, and Lowe’s plans to expand their program to more stores in the coming year.
Lowe’s is not the only store to have already adapted to interactive mixed reality. Polo Ralph Lauren implemented smart mirrors in their fitting rooms. Not only are they able to recognize what items the customer has brought into the room, the smart mirrors can also display several options about the items which customer might be interested. If the customer wants to view a different variation of the product, the mirror can contact sales representatives to bring the new items. The mirror can also drive sales by suggesting matching items to the customer.
Neiman Marcus and other stores have implemented similar, though not as intricate, interactive mirrors. Customers can view their potential purchases in a 360-degree view while sharing pictures with their friends. Designed to keep customers’ attention and drive sales, these mirrors are able to explore different color patterns and store pictures to compare outfits. Whether it’s an intricate design or simply an engaging feature, interactive mixed reality mirrors have been become increasingly popular.
The previous solutions engage customers when they are in retail stores, but what about when customers aren’t already inside the store? Enter nuMedia Innovations’ new Window Shopper. The virtual window shopper is able to grab the attention of potential customers and display the store’s entire inventory on the store window. By engaging with the product, potential customers can view information on products regardless of time or date. With a few clicks, a customer can order a product at the window instead of waiting to go online or enter the store.
As shoppers continue to order goods online, brick-and-mortar retail stores must become more appealing to stay in business. Interactive mixed reality solutions have allowed stores to differentiate themselves and become more engaging to customers. With all of these solutions geared towards increasing sales and the customer experience, expect to see more interactive mixed technology in retail stores!