If you have started reading this, you would like to immerse yourself. Or rather: you would like your customers to immerse themselves. But what does an immersive shopping experience stand for?
The combination, less risky than it seems, is linked to:
- The central roles of UX and UI – user experience and user interface.
- The power of new technologies in presence and at a distance.
The harmony of these two objectives, enhanced by a refined strategic and tactical system as well as the consequent adequate application paths, translates into what we can define an immersive shopping experience. Yes, it starts with the notorious wow effect, but above all continues and is based on a long and collaborative journey.
The first point is O2O. Online to offline, and offline to online. In other words, there is no difference. The user is always the same. Both in the physical world and in the digital-virtual-augmented one. The different meanings of the same experience, in this case the shopping experience, which takes place offline or online, belong to the same creative trigger, and are expressed in various logical and technological forms. First of all, we must specify that today the user / consumer expects a linear, consistent, coherent and cross-channel experience. It is the same brand that speaks in the physical world and in the virtual world, and above all it is the same user who moves around in these two different worlds, which are less and less distant.
2 - AUGMENTED EXPERIENCE
Virtual and augmented reality technologies are now quite mature, case histories follow one another and the situation is very different from when there were only a few pioneering projects, such as, sin of vanity, our Luxottica or Replay brands. Today there are enormous possibilities for every brand that wants to create an immersive shopping experience: if your digital presence has already been successfully launched ‘traditionally’ online and mobile, then the next step is to virtualize yourself.
The feasibility is there: the analysis of the images in real time, renderings in real time, software environments and hardware frameworks are now a possibility at hand. Through the users’ devices we trace faces, bodies, environments and we can enhance them with contents, characters, or offer them to real or fantasy worlds in which you can literally enter. If something seems tempting on mobile, we can indulge ourselves even more in the store. Sensors, infrared cameras, mapping and holographic projections, augmented windows and mirrors and so on and so forth.
3 - HYPER INTELLIGENCE
Last but not least: artificial intelligence. It cannot be missed, but no worries, we will not embark on any pretentious claim, nor start to dare. We simply apply. The best of what we have available – guess Amazon, Microsoft, etc. – and then we integrate it. This means automatic skills in terms of speaking, writing, seeing, processing, automating and above all learning.
Putting all of the pieces together we have:
- Intelligent portals usable online and through mobile in order to experience product try-outs in augmented and virtual reality, also through social networks.
- Always through the same online apps the user enters into real but difficult to access experiences: a fashion show, rehearsal room or exclusive event. Or even non existing events such as a historical event, a future projection or a fantasy world, through virtual reality, augmented reality, or 360-degree views.
- Stores become hubs for value-added experiences, the virtual comes to life through the physical environment into which it is applied, people are immersed in a magical place where they can live exclusive experiences, with solutions never tried before, interacting with their own devices.
- All activities are enacted into social networks and continue at a distance, with a system of nurturing, rewarding and filiation they can be continuously fed.
- All behaviors become opportunities for automatic learning and above all continuous improvement.
What closes the circle is that these solutions allow users a very high level of participation. Therefore: maximization of the engagement rate, a decrease in the cart abandonment rate, the possibility of targeted upselling, and an increase in revenues and user loyalty.
VP of Enterprise Strategy
Co-founder of OSC Innovation, having 15+ years of experience as Strategic Innovation Researcher and Consultant, and New Media Designer: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Robotics, IOT, AI. Innovation and Intuition are the key cross-cutting components of his professional development, exploited in a wide range of environments: technology and new media, international academic research and education. Proudly led the launch of the ‘augmented reality’ in Italy, making OSC Innovation the Italian leader since then. Teacher and coaching for italian and international universities and institutions.