How brands are innovating with new technology to offer personalized online shopping experiences

In recent years, technology has transformed the way customers shop. Customers expectations are at an all time high. People expect highly personalized online shopping experiences and content that is tailored to their interests. Stay-at-home restrictions due to COVID-19 have further accelerated the shift to online shopping.

According to Statista, the eCommerce market is projected to reach a staggering $6.54 trillion in 2021.

“In 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.” 

Direct-to-consumer brands are innovating to attract and engage shoppers in the comfort of their homes, using new technologies such as augmented reality, personalization, and live-stream shopping.

Dami Balogun from Axonista’s Marketing team took some time to check out three brands that are using innovative technology to transform the way consumers shop online. Here is her take.

YOOXMirror.

YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group is an Italian online luxury and fashion retailer. It describes its YOOXMirror as a dressing room for trying on items you like, creating looks and discovering new trends. I am fascinated by how YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group has used AR to bring an in-store experience along with personalization to a virtual dressing room.

My Personalized Online Shopping Experience –  What I liked:

One of the features I like is the availability of four existing models in four different skin tones. You can use these models if you don’t feel like creating your own, or waiting for your virtual model to be made (which can take up to three days). However, I created my virtual model to gain the full experience.

Experience Yoox

Aside from waiting three days before I could begin to use my model, I was delighted to see the accuracy of my skin color on the model considering that I only uploaded a picture of my face. 

I liked the share button which enabled me to choose from twenty-two different backgrounds to see what my outfit looked like in various scenes. For example, the three pictures below show outfits I might wear on certain occasions.

Yoox Model App

What I think should improve.

I loved using the YOOXMirror feature. It was great to see how AR transformed the YOOX app into a fun shopping experience. 

Personally, I would’ve liked to see what the shoes looked like on my feet (virtually). Everyone knows the shoes complete the outfit and being barefooted takes away from being placed in the beautiful backgrounds. In addition to this, I was limited to the number of accessories I could try on simultaneously. 

Overall, I found this to be a fun, interactive app. The shareability feature is a solid growth marketing tactic. I am looking forward to seeing the next version. The app is available on IOS and Google Play. You can download it here.

L’Oréal makeup – Makeup Virtual Try-on.

In 2018, L’Oréal Makeup acquired Modiface’s augmented reality technology to help consumers virtually try different hair colors, makeup products and carry out skin consultations! 

Of all of the brands that L’Oréal owns, my favorite is Maybelline. Visitors to Maybelline website can access the free AR tool from their mobile device or computer. Shoppers can virtually try on Maybelline makeup products. I am a big fan of this tool because it helps minimize the risk of purchasing the wrong makeup shade.  Similar to the YOOX app, users can upload a photo or use the live camera.

Virtual Makeup Try on

My Personalized Online Shopping Experience –  What I liked:

I was impressed by this feature on the Maybelline website. It has brought the in-store shopping experience that I have been missing to an online space. I like that the virtual try-on was similar to applying my makeup in real life. I was particularly surprised at how detailed and pigmented the makeup products were. In addition to this, I liked that every product I tried went into my cart and was immediately removed when I took it off my virtual face.

My Personalized Online Shopping Experience Maybelline Virtual Makeup Tryon

What I think should improve. 

I believe that the ability to virtually try on different eyeshadow at the same time would improve this feature. I also found the live camera was very slow, so I chose to upload a picture. You can try Maybelline Makeup Virtual Try-on here.

Complex Network – Complex Land.

ComplexCon is an annual convention created by Complex Network, bringing the world of pop culture, music, art, food, style, sports, activism, and education together. 

The ongoing pandemic meant that Complex Network could not host its annual ComplexCon convention in real life as planned. This led to the creation of a virtual world that consumers could join from the comfort of their homes. ComplexLand is an immersive event filled with exclusive product drops, live musical performances, panels, popup shops and food vendors. The free virtual festival took place in early December and was accessible via mobile and web. I went along to check it out.

My Personalized Online Shopping Experience Complex Con event

My Personalized Online Shopping Experience ComplexCon event avatar

My Personalized Online Shopping Experience –  What I liked:

I loved that I was able to explore food trucks as it brought the festival experience to life. It was great that attendees in the US could order food and have it delivered to their homes. Unfortunately, I am located in Ireland so my food would have been cold by the time it was delivered!

ComplexCon event food truck

ComplexCon event food truck

Summary

Overall I enjoyed my personalized online shopping experiences. However, I am conscious that many consumers are wary about uploading their personal images online. Transparency from brands on consumer data usage is crucial to winning trust. I am very excited to see how retailers and brands will think outside the box to transform online shopping experiences in 2021 and beyond.

There are lots of different technologies that brands can use to create new ways to shop such as AR, VR, and Shoppable video – Check out our guide to shoppable video for retail brands to find out more.