24 Apr Could the humble mirror revolutionise the future of retail?
Technology and retail have a rather complicated relationship. With many claiming technology will either save the retail industry or destroy it. With everything from modern ePOS systems to online shopping hailed as heroes and villains of either cause. But often overlooked is the possibility of what would happen if they worked together.
However, that may be about to change. And this revolution within the retail industry may come from a somewhat unexpected corner. The mirror.
Mirrors have always been central to the retail industry. They create space, showcase products and then help people fall in love with them. But until now they didn’t offer many new opportunities, but that’s about to change.
Smart Mirrors, as they are known, offer consumers and retailers a whole new way to interact. Delivering enhanced customer experience and innovative new ways to engage with one another. They let retailers understand just what individual customers want and expect, and give them the tools to provide it.
The fairest of them all
Smart Mirror’s, like Intel’s offering, allow customers to store product information on their terms and return to previous ‘looks’ and ‘outfits’ that they’ve liked. They can also share these and find other ways to make valuable considerations and interactions before purchasing. Which all helps elevate customer satisfaction.
These interactions then open up an enormous range of opportunities to retailers. Allowing for tailored offers, smarter remarketing, and even greater stock management (by knowing what sells where). It’s a powerful tool with a myriad of opportunities that is only just being realised.
While other Smart Mirror’s, like that launched by Superdry, allow customers to engage with products in a more exciting way. This mirror lets customers develop an understanding of the products using a digestible, playful and interactive experience.
The future of experience
These Smart Mirrors and others let brands and retailers build measurable ways to truly understand User Experience (UI), which has been so key to the success of online retail. This is an incredibly powerful tool to have when trying to understand what your customers want from your brand when in store. Adding an invaluable qualitative boost to the common qualitative understanding that most bricks and mortar retailers have of their customer’s needs.
In the future, this data will help stores revolutionise their in-store experience from the inside out. So, starting in the fitting room, the retail interior will become a “mirror” of the real wants and desires of the consumer. Meaning these Mirrors aren’t just smart, they’re the future.