How AI & AR will influence customer’s decisions

Last month, i was very lucky to attend the biggest eCommerce expo in the region, Seamless EMEA Summit. The event was really fruitful as it was featuring over 350 exhibitors and 40+ product categories including; Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Checkout Carts, Digital Marketing, Ecommerce Platforms, ePayments, ERP, Fintech, In-Store Technology, SEO, Smart Cards, Supply Chain Management and much more.

In addition to the conference which gave me the chance to listen and meet the brightest minds, entrepreneurs and successful companies leaders in the world. In this article i will focus on a critical topic which is AI & VR future, mainly i will cover the following 3 points:

  1. Exploring AR as a new and vital tool for high-craft brand experiences
  2. Changing the way brands tell stories and drive performance on mobile
  3. Leveraging AR as a high attention and high intent space in Hospitality industry

AI & VR Are Coming

Few years ago we saw the new technologies of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence starts rolling in some application. We saw how IKEA made use from the VR very well through its mobile app and how snapchat gained market share from its competitors through its funny filters. Actually the future will has a big share out of these two areas.

LEGO Wear Snapchat AR from seeper on Vimeo.

During the event, Simon Jenkins from snapchat showcased the best practice they have made to create a first of its kind experience as LEGO And Snapchat opened a clothing store with no clothes In It. As part of London Fashion Week, the brands have swapped traditional retail models for an augmented reality pop-up partnership to promote LEGO Wear’s first limited-edition clothing line for adults.

Though the pop-up is physically empty of everything but a plinth-posted Snapcode (the company’s in-app answer to QR codes), the Snap-triggered portal allows shoppers to enter a virtual shop with an interactive DJ booth, LEGO bouncer, arcade machine, and – most importantly – exclusive products for purchase.

AR applications will evolve from one-off fun to include multi-use utility.

Simon showed an eye opening experiment result announced in Mindshare Future report 2018 where they have tested how the brain interact with Non AR Task vs AR Task

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“There was this initial round of apps, and people looked at them and said ‘this isn’t anything….’ And then step by step things start to move… and now you can’t imagine your life without apps. AR is like that. It will be dramatic.” Tim Cook, CEO Apple

While Macy’s introduced The Market @ Macy’s, Macy’s latest innovations infuse the omnichannel department store experience with a mix of technology and social media, driving store visits as well as reaching younger, digitally native consumers

Benefits of the VR-powered furniture department are two-fold: while Macy’s claims its use so far in pilot store has resulted in a 60% increase in overall basket size, digitally experience the product also allows the department store to save floor and inventory space. With an accompanying “Visualize Your Space” AR app, Macy’s aims to build consumer education and, in turn, decrease furniture returns.

Not only Macy’s but Amazon made a similar experience that has generated around half million dollars in few days

The future of AR in Retail a Dubai based tech firm behind the USD 500 Million online retail venture The company is responsible for the development of the True Hybrid experience that combines immersive technologies and operational practices like Brand Immersion, Virtual Reality, On-Ground AR Cues, Micro-Influencer Reviews, Product Walkthroughs, AI & Machine Learning, 

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Patrick Bousquet, CEO of EMAR malls explained how the company is transitioning to co-up with the future of retail and it was clear that the company approach is to focus more on the customer’s emotions and definitely AR will be one of the key applications to achieve their strategy.

Additionally, he discussed how they use AI to create automated customer journey that drive more revenue

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During old days, it was difficult to use the AR to create attractive experience due to lack of available development tools. But that became paste as all key tech companies are releasing more tools to make it easier for developers to generate such experiences.

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As an example, Apple unveiled ARKit at its developers’ conference in June. Like most AR demos, Apple’s promised that AR could introduce its users to another layer of existence, turning an iPhone into “a lens into a virtual world.” One featured app let users watch a Goldilocks story play out on a kid’s bedspread. Another placed a Lego Batwing on a coffee table. During the keynote, a representative from Peter Jackson’s production company looked through an iPad to display a space war taking place on an otherwise empty tabletop.

AR future in Hospitality Industry

I believe that there are tremendous potential for the AI & AR applications in the travel & hospitality industry. I got inspired by the Macy’s experiment and i told myself “What if we can let the guests has a hotel orientation by one of our Guest Relations Management teams while they are staying on their home’s coach! What if we can let our overseas travel agencies have such experience to share with their customers when they visit them in their offices.

Imagine how this would change the guest choice equation and how much it will save operation time and cost.

Unfortunately, the hospitality industry is a bit late in such digital transformations but such change is inevitable.

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