Is Computer Vision The Future Of Retail Marketing?

We live in a consumer-driven society. The buyer is king and retailers have to keep up with current trends. By investing time and money in technologies such as augmented reality and data analytics, companies can shape their core business strategies around these.

Data will always play a part in influencing how retailers operate and market their products and brands. Advancing deep learning algorithms are increasingly being used to power the development of brands. This helps create products and processes that consumers want with better knowledge of the individual buying experience.

Emotion plays a huge part in marketing and brand building

But, it’s not all stats and figures. The future of retail is being led by computer vision and mixed reality technologies. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are transforming the way we shop and interact with our favourite brands. Engagement and emotion play a huge part in marketing and brand building. So, retailers are now looking at innovative technologies that push the boundaries of interaction and emotion in the buying experience.

There’s been a lot of buzz around Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, and PlayStation VR recently. We’re also seeing start-ups breaking onto the scene with more retail-led applications for computer vision and mixed reality tech.

Outdoor giants The North Face have used Virtual Reality as a means to enhance their in-store experiences. By taking the customer outdoors – to Yosemite National Park and the Moab desert to be exact. For them, VR enhances the brand’s mission statement of wanting to ‘inspire a global movement of exploration’. Consumers can imagine themselves outdoors, wearing North Face products, conveniently in the place of purchase.

How about dodging the crowds entirely? UK startup Metail is using computer vision to create scaled digital 3D models of users. Imagine trying on your entire holiday wardrobe without having the battle the crowds! This could soon be possible with Metail’s pioneering project. Online retailers could benefit from this concept, by inputting measurements and pictures, you could have an avatar in seconds.

These technologies provoke emotion in the buying decision

Our buying decisions are grounded in emotional investment in a product, and entertainment, and engagement with a brand. These technologies power incredible insights into tailoring experiences. They also go further in being able to entertain and provoke emotion in the buying decision. Mixed reality lets us position ourselves in situations that traditional retail experiences cannot offer.

With augmented reality apps, you can confidently order a new bedroom suite online and know that it will fit perfectly. Even the decor – Moroccan sand or Eggshell? No more tiny tester pots needed as AR allows you to test onto your own home through an app.

Some high street retailers are now offering these experiences within the feel of traditional shopping. This is in a big to win back lost business to e-commerce sites that have grown in recent years. However, through 3D avatars, and apps available on mobile devices, e-tailers are bringing this tech right into the home. This could prove much more accessible and attainable in the long run.

Regardless of what kind of vendor, the early adoption of this technology will give businesses a stand out advantage among the competition. Retailers can customise the consumer experience, advertise full product ranges more effectively, and also design more engaging and customer-friendly store layouts and displays to increase revenue – like the popular in store #selfie marketing campaigns.

The rate at which this technology is improving on itself is extremely fast, so retailers will need to invest money in the right talent to keep them ahead of the curve!


augmented reality is the future of retail
Intel Labs

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