Supermarket giant Tesco will be incorporating pioneering augmented reality technology into three of its retail stores in the near future, testing the public’s reaction to its Florence and Frieda clothing range. The brand’s planned use of interactive touchscreen kiosks, augmented reality mirrors and virtual mannequins aims to improve the in-store customer experience and better integrate the retailer’s online and offline presence.
“The heart of the retail experience will remain as it is, but we are trying to enhance the experience” assures Tesco’s head of online development operations for Clothing at Tesco, Situl Thakrar, explaining, “This is now an alternative way to look for something suitable and be inspired by what we have to offer.”
The first of Tesco’s proposed additions, digital sales kiosks, lets customers recreate the online shopping experience while in-store, browsing through the F&F product range, displaying reviews data and allowing users to purchase items for home delivery.
Beyond letting consumers immediately order out-of-stock products, this technology has also provided Tesco with insightful data on the preferences of its consumers, driving future sales decisions. By incorporating this browsing data with Clubcard account information, the kiosk could be used to offer highly targeted promotions at the exact moment when customers are in store.
“It’s giving a two-way mechanism for feedback from the customer to say, we like this, we’re interested in having this,” avows Thakrar, confiding “We’ve now started to understand, by looking at stock data, that accessories are very big in terms of the appetite for our kiosk.”
In addition to viewing the clothing range through the kiosk, Tesco’s other experimental devices will enable consumers to picture unavailable products more easily. The brand’s ‘magical mirrors’ will project clothing items onto a customer’s reflection, generating a virtual way for consumers to try on clothing. Self-conscious customers can instead see the clothes in action, projected using holographic technology onto an interactive augmented reality mannequin.
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