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11 examples of integration between real and virtual world

In recent years, many retailers, online and otherwise, have begun to use new technologies to  stand out and create added value for their customers.

Let’s take a look at some of the technological solutions chosen, from which to take inspiration.

1). “Extension” of reality 

Blue Nile jewelry has created a sort of  “augmented reality” where, thanks to a mobile app, customers can create their own engagement ring by choosing the shape, transparency and size of the diamond. You can also adjust the size and see how it could fit on your hand by uploading a photo of it. Once the ring has been chosen and perfected, it is possible to either buy it through the app, or send the image via email or message to collect it directly in the store.


2). Shopping on Shazam

Thanks to the union between Macy’s and Cortexica, which offers technologies for image recognition and visual search technology,   the “Shazam for shopping” was created .

By opening the Macy’s app, users can take a photo of anything – from a vase to a newspaper page – and, after uploading the image to the app, they can search for a similar product. Once the search results have been obtained, the user can buy the items directly from the app.

This technology underpins the implementation of the Style Thief app,  which searches hundreds of reseller databases to find similar products

3). Three-dimensional rooms

Lowe’s , a home improvement store, has launched a 3D virtual reality room , where customers can see a three-dimensional projection of their renovation project before starting.

The customer designs his ideal room on the store’s iPad, then enters the “Holoroom” where he can make any changes to the project until he is satisfied. Once approved, the customer will receive a list of the items he has selected, which can be purchased both in the store and on the web.

4). High Tech Store

In November 2014, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff opened her first store combining fashion and technology. A shopping glass wall , offered by eBay , has been created where customers can manually scroll through the store’s inventory, using the interactive touch screen to select items and have them brought to the dressing room. When the dressing room is ready, a notification message is sent to the mobile phone. If the size is wrong, you can request the right one using the touch screen mirrors in the dressing room


5). Customize your shoes

In November 2014,  Nordstrom  announced a partnership with Shoes of Prey, an Australian retailer that provides the ability for customers to customize their shoes . With the 3D design iPads found in Nordstrom stores, customers can choose from 12 different basic styles – from ballet flats to heels. Once they have chosen the model, they can select the heel height, decorations, materials and color. After purchase, the customized shoes will be shipped to the customer’s home in less than a month.


6). A building dedicated to shopping

In October 2014, Kate Spade launched a new concept ,  at The Mall at Short Hills in Neew Jersey, where customers could interact and purchase the brand’s products before the new store opened.

Answering 4 personal questions on the touch screens, the interactive screens, created by The Science Project, sent the customer’s profile via text message or email along with a list of recommended products, available for purchase on the site.



7). Tech-powered Store

In its Tysons Galleria store, Deckers ‘ Ugg brand has combined interactive touch screens with the ability for customers to add a personal touch to their shoes . To activate the screens, with RFID technology, customers simply need to choose the shoes on the screen and then select the number and color. Also you can customize 5 classic Ugg styles.

8). Virtual mirror

Sephora has found a solution to allow customers to try all the testers they want, with the launch of the 3D virtual reality mirror . By simply touching the palette on the mirror, the color appears virtually on the client’s eyelids.

In the same  vein, L’Oréal has launched an app, “Makeup Genius”, which allows customers to virtually test cosmetics from their mobile devices.

9). Smart Dressing Rooms

Smart fitting rooms seem to be a must for the shopping malls of the future. 

Bloomingdale’s added its name to the list of companies that are testing the technology on the market, thanks to the launch of new test booths in 5 locations across the United States.

These booths include wall-mounted tablets on which you can view all available products, colors, sizes, and other useful product information.

In addition, customers can simply press a button for assistance, without having to leave the dressing room.

10). Find the perfect match

To help consumers make the right food and wine choice, Whole Foods , at the Alpharetta location in Georgia, has launched a new technology that provides advice on, for example, how much wine to buy for a party, or how to compose a personalized cheese plate.

The screens, created by Second Story, also show the “broaden your palate” section, which offers recommendations on wines and coffees based on the customer’s tastes.

11) Amazon on Snapchat

In November 2014,   Amazon   announced that it would begin publishing on the Snapchat   mobile app to advertise its product offerings  .

The partnership provides that, through the Amazon account on the application, users are sent gift ideas, tips and special offers with a very short duration – every 10 minutes.

The choice to use this platform was made based on the very nature of the App, that is to delete the messages received after a few minutes. An optimal solution for an e-commerce that wants to propose offers to take flight and, at the same time, reach all those consumers, constantly increasing, who use their mobile device to make online purchases.

In fact, the online retailer has announced that it is also possible to buy through the Instagram account.




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