Retailers globally are probing technology providers to anticipate what new initiatives they should invest in next to reinvent their in-store experience.
As the competition to win customers' hearts and minds, and ultimately their wallets, intensifies, retailers are being pushed to create a differentiated experience to stand out and provide seamless engagement across all channels. As a result, the need for rightsizing became even more evident in 2022, with most retail businesses innovating self-service formats with digital retail, AI/AR-powered experiences, and immersive commerce.
Following the recent "battle" between Sephora and Space NK to become the preferred beauty destination in the UK, retailers globally are probing technology providers to anticipate what new initiatives they should invest in next to reinvent their in-store experience. By striking the right balance between physical and digital activation, using the unique strengths of each in tandem, companies are looking for new innovative ways to deliver an exceptional in-store customer experience in 2023 and beyond.
Augmenting Your In-Store Brand Experience: Self-Service or Assisted Tech Experiences?
As the industry moves forward and customer expectations evolve, the lines between self-service and assisted in-store experiences are beginning to blur. But getting the recipe right can be challenging, as there is also a bevy of opinions on where one approach ends and the other begins.
When retailers find the right self-service and assisted mix, they can see significant benefits. One advantage is the ability to provide a customer experience that’s far more seamless than in the past. In addition, thanks to technology such as AI and AR, retailers can connect with consumers in the most personalized way, regardless of the channel.
Here are three use cases of self-service and assisted tech-powered in-store beauty experiences you can quickly deploy today:
1. Tablet-powered Beauty Experience
A tablet powered beauty experience can be either self service or assisted. Retailers like KICKS, offer digital beauty experiences online but also in-store with a tablet. When customers visit an in-store location they can request the tablet from the beauty consultant and run a personalized skin analysis or virtually try on products and receive product recommendations.
2. In-store Smart Mirror Beauty Experience
Last year, Shiseido introduced the first over-the-counter Skin Visualizer. This contact-free device measures and visualizes skin's Beauty Circulation, a concept developed by Shiseido referring to the elements of beauty circulating in the skin, to provide consumers with personalized beauty advice and product recommendations.
In this assisted beauty experience, consumers sit in front of the in-store smart mirror with the beauty consultant, answer a few questions about their skin type, and take a selfie. Then, the user is provided personalized digital skincare advice based on their skin metrics, which adopts artificial intelligence, expert algorithms, and real-time information, such as the user's location, to determine an overall skin health score.
3. QR Code Powered Mobile Beauty Experience
In this self-service experience, customers can easily access engaging beauty experiences such as an Online Skincare Advisor and/or true-to-life AR-powered makeup try-on experiences with an in-store QR code.
With an Online Skincare Advisor readily available via mobile, any customer can receive immediate in-depth assistance, personalized recommendations, and high-level expertise that will help them make more confident purchase decisions at your store.