Brick and mortar stores are undergoing a massive transformation to make sure they still stay relevant in the race with their online counterparts. The challenge for the stores now lies in using technology effectively to give consumers an immersive experience and hyper-personalization.
In their battle against e-commerce companies that make the shopping experience convenient by limiting it to just a click of a button. According to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian retail industry accounts for more than 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounts for around eight percent of the employment in the country.
Look at the video to see how it works
Legacy brands such as Raymond do not want to be left behind in this race and are working to create a truly omni-channel experience for its customers.
“We want to be where the customers are. Today customers are on various digital platforms. They search for information on digital platforms and hence we want to be there. Also, it will be arrogant for a brand to say we are so loved and trusted that we will not change, and Raymond is not that. Hence, we started the process of digitization in our company,” says Uma Talreja, Chief Digital Officer at Raymond.
One of the initiatives taken by the company is running a pilot by installing a virtual mirror at its retail outlets.
“What we are trying to do with the suiting business is shifting from selling in meters to selling looks and inspirations. One of the tests we are running for this is the virtual mirror test. Technology can help you to solve a problem or add value but it is important to not let it become just a gimmick. In the fabric business, one of the key problems customers face is that they do not know what the end product will look like,” adds Talerja.
How it works?
A person stands at a predefined position. The sensor cameras then display a virtual image of the person - an exact replication of the size and shape of the person. After this, the barcode of the material the person wants to see is scanned by trained staff in the shop.
The material then appears on the screen as a suit in eight different styles. The customer can simply swing his arm sideways to check out the various styles as well as another material selected. To input the information and create visualization for each fabric costs shop owners anything between Rs 300 to Rs 500.
How it helps the customers?
While buying a suit material, there is always a doubt about how the final product will look.It also helps the customers understand which style will look better on them. “A clear picture helps customer in the process of decision making. It also helps reduce the time taken by a customer to make a decision. We have seen that since the installment there is more closure on the decision making process,” says P D Shylendra, Managing Director, The Raymond Store, Gajanana Men’s Wear.
How it helps the company?
For the company it helps them attract more people to their shop. It also helps the company to predict the future trends and what to stock up or not. “ Based on the figure, there is constant data that is collected on what could be the age of the customer and what are the materials being looked at, and the styles as well. Post this, there is an artificial intelligence tool run on top of the data that can help predict what is the trend and what could attract people in the future,” says Ramesh V Ram, CEO of Aagnaa Softwares Lab - the technology provider of the virtual mirror.