Match – personalising the in-store shopping experience

Match – personalising the in-store shopping experience

Today’s shoppers expect a personalised shopping experience, reflecting their unique needs, preferences and previous purchases, coupled with responsive service.

Online retailers are falling to personalise the in-store experience. This is a big issue given that, despite the rise of online, physical retail still accounts for the vast majority of sales.

Smart changing rooms with interactive mirrors and elements are already on the rise in clothing retail, but here’s what makes our interactive mirrors different.

Jose Neves, founder of Farfetch, spoke to Vogue magazine about closing the loop with the “offline cookie” explaining that, “physical retail accounts for 93 per cent of sales today, and even with online growing at fast speed, it will account for 80 per cent by 2025. Retailers need a way to collect information about their customers while they are browsing in-store, just as they collect data from online searches.”

But what if we could apply the principles of online personalisation to brick and mortar stores to provide a better experience for shoppers and more profitable outcomes for retailers?

 

Introducing Match - instore personalisation

We created Match, an Episerver platform powered operating system that takes personalisation into physical stores. Here’s fashion retailer example to demonstrate how it works and the benefits for it unlocks for both retailers and shoppers:

  • Anonymous profiles for private personalisation
    As a customer enters the store, Match uses video footage from cameras around the shop to create a temporary shadow profile on Episerver Profile Store. At this point, the profile is anonymous, so we can provide the customer with a personalised service without connecting to any online profiles they may have.
  • Emotion tracking for better recommendations
    As the customer browses around the store, small cameras located alongside the shelves, racks and fixtures allows Match to capture and measure the customer’s facial reactions to different items and develop a clearer picture about their likes and dislikes. The more the customer browses, the more intelligence Match gathers on their tastes – noting details such as colour, texture, item type and range – and builds up their shadow profile.
  • Interactive mirrors with personalised content
    Smart changing rooms with interactive mirrors and elements are already on the rise in clothing retail, but here’s what makes our interactive mirrors different. When the customer enters our smart changing room, a message on the screen asks if they’d like to see recommendations based on the items they’ve looked at. Our facial recognition system identifies the customer using the image taken when they entered the store and asks them to tap the image to confirm their identity.

Match then presents a visual gallery of personalised recommendations including:

  • Items they’ve looked at in store
  • Items that align with their recorded tastes and preferences
  • Complete-the-look matches
  • Outlet or discounted items in the customer’s size and style

The customer’s shadow profile is updated based on how they respond to these recommendations, providing a better understanding of their preferences and needs.

  • Easy and immediate access to product information
    Match makes it easy to explore product details, from materials and sizing to availability in-store and nearby, using existing product data drawn from Episerver Commerce. The customer can find out what they need to know or search for items in stores nearby all on the changing room touch screen.
  • Better, more responsive service
    In the changing room, the customer can ‘shortlist’ items they like and request to try them on by tapping a button on the screen. Match will provide an estimated waiting time while alerting a member of staff to bring the requested items to the changing room.
  • Seamless payments and no more queues
    With Match, the customer can purchase items in the changing room, speeding up the payment process and cutting down on queues. They simply select the items they want to buy from the screen and start the checkout process. They can even order out-of-stock items online or for collection at another store.
  • Tying up the offline and online experience
    During the payment process, the customer has the option to create a profile or log in, connecting their shadow profile with their online profile. Tying up the profiles will unlock better recommendations, personalised content and even special deals and offers tailored to their preferences informed by the items they’ve liked in-store.

 

Can we really do this? And the good news is... this is all possible

We presented Match at EpiServer’s Ascend conference in Las Vegas, to an audience including some of the leading thinkers of our industry, and won a finalist position in their innovation awards.

One of the things we heard often (aside from “wow, really?”) was, “can we really build something like this?”

In a word, yes.

Match sounds like it belongs in a Sci Fi film, but the technology is here and now. All we need are the ideas and the people to make it happen.

If you’d like to talk to us about Match, get in touch.