In recent years, the retail sector has undergone a profound change of pace related to the relationship between new technologies and the shopping experience. Compared to the past, a wide variety of online sources such as search engines, social media, aggregators and review websites provide a revolutionary amount of information for the process of exploring and evaluating purchasing opportunities.
The new challenge is to forge new and lasting relationships with customers, focusing not only on products but also on a customer journey that makes the purchase an engaging and memorable experience. Tools such as touch and touchless technologies, sensors, augmented reality make it possible to transform stores from simple containers of products to places of interaction where one can be excited, amazed and, finally, buy, preserving memories of the experience that can also be easily shared online.
A good example of this possibility is the Fragrance Finder created for Acqua di Parma by ETT, a company of the SCAI Group, leader in the creation of immersive experiences for the fashion and luxury sectors. The interactive installation installed in the Acqua di Parma boutiques consists of a front screen, three ampoules equipped with sensors and 30 olfactory bells containing the brand’s fragrances. The customer, by touching the ampoules, takes part in a digital journey to discover the fragrance best suited to his or her taste. At the end of the experience, the perfume is sprayed in the air.
The Fragrance Finder won an award in the Retail Awards hosted by the Retail Forum, the largest tech hub for the Italian Retail community. After the success in store, a tool inspired by the Fragrance Finder was also realised for the Acqua di Parma portal: with the Gift Finder, by means of a short and targeted questionnaire users take part in an emotional journey in search of the perfect gift among more than 250 products. The culmination of the experience is the augmented reality web that displays and positions the end product in space, allowing the user to interact with the object in a real environment.
Another experience that uses digitisation and Web Augmented Reality to renew the shopping experience is the Virtual Try On realised by ETT for Deborah – Sodalis Group. This new solution accompanies customers in choosing the perfect accessories, simplifying the product testing process and making it usable wherever they are. Simply focus your webcam or smartphone on your face and you will immediately discover the effect of the selected product, applied to your face. Users can move, smile, approach and move away from the cam: the make-up remains perfectly anchored to the image. More than 300 products and shades for eyes, face and lips were included in the virtual try-on in just a few weeks, available in real time for online testing.Digital innovations are today redefining the models of interaction between customers and brands. Buying a product is not enough; customers want authentic, exclusive experiences that can be easily shared online. Retailers today have to rely on solutions that blend design, technology and storytelling to keep the relationship with their customers meaningful, proposing not the purchase of the product but the choice of the brand.