UK-based supermarket chain Tesco is testing a range of interactive technologies with the aim of enhancing the shopping experience for its customers. Shoppers can now enjoy a multichannel experience, which includes an augmented reality mirror and a digital mannequin, in three Tesco outlets in the UK – Coventry, Woolwich and Broadstairs.
A digital signage unit advertises the F&F clothing lines. Shoppers can then use the self-service touchscreen kiosk to browse and purchase items using the chip-and-pin payment system. The innovation also allows customers to find items in sizes not available in the store.
The Woolwich store now has a Kids StyleMe Mirror – augmented reality is used to overlay the shopper’s image with pictures of F&F clothing products, selected with the help of a gesture-based interface. The camera captures images and gestures; the artificial intelligence engine combines analytics for the image, recognition software, and augmented-reality tools so that children can try on clothing virtually.
Tesco uses a virtual mannequin at its Broadstairs store; it is created with a combination of hologram-based projections and audio to create the illusion it is speaking to customers and tapping on the window. “We’ve now started to understand, by looking at stock data, that accessories are very big in terms of the appetite for our kiosk. That’s answering questions for the business, indicating that we should have more accessories in stock,” said Situl Thakrar, head of online development operations for clothing at Tesco. “It’s giving a two-way mechanism for feedback from the customer to say, we like this, we’re interested in having this.” The pilot will run until April.
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