Categories
e-commerce technology

Uniqlo launches digital concierge powered by Google Assistant

Uniqlo IQ
Uniqlo IQ

Uniqlo has launched Uniqlo IQ, a digital concierge service that is powered by Google Assistant and machine learning technology.

The assistant, which is currently only available in Japan, helps customers find style inspiration and recommendations by searching by occasion, items featured in magazines, and even by colour based on the user’s daily horoscope. Products are ranked hourly, meaning results vary at every interaction. Once the consumer is ready to purchase, it can do so online or receive directions to the closest Uniqlo store where their product of choice is in stock.

The Google Assistant integration allows the user to say “Uniqlo IQ” or “Uniqlo FAQ” into the Google app to begin the interaction. According to the Japanese company, this is the first time a brand is using Google Assistant to create a brand-specific solution.

“As retail moves deeper into the digital realm, shopping needs to be not just portable and perpetual but personal as well,” says Rei Inamoto, founding partner of Inamoto & Co, the agency responsible for the project’s brand and service design. “There has been a lot of talk about AI in the last few years but most use cases have been toys, not tools. Available through chat, search and even voice activation, this iteration of Uniqlo IQ is the foundation of how Uniqlo will provide customer service on a personal level not just reactively but also proactively.”

The service was initially tested in the US via Facebook Messenger, before a soft launch in October 2017, when it was available to 2,000 select users in Japan. It is now available through the Uniqlo app, Asian social media platform LINE, and Google Assistant.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
e-commerce Retail technology

Target introduces AR and text-to-chat beauty concierge service

Beauty Concierge at Target

Target is upping its beauty game with a focus on personalized experiences through a series of digitally-enabled features both in-store and at the customer’s home.

The so-called Target Beauty Studio is a partnership between the US retailer and Perfect Corp.’s YouCam Makeup software, which allows users to virtually try on hundreds of makeup items using augmented reality on Target.com (desktop and mobile).

Meanwhile, the experience is also being trialled at 10 select stores across the country, with further roll out plans later this year. The feature is reminiscent of what many beauty brands such as Sephora and Bourjois have been doing in the try-on space in a bid to offer shopper more tools for discoverability and decision-making both on and offline.

Target virtual try-on powered by YouCam
Target virtual try-on powered by YouCam

“When it comes to shopping beauty, our guests love to explore,” said Christina Hennington, senior vice president of beauty and essentials at Target. “With the introduction of these new initiatives, which blend physical and digital to create an enhanced experience, we’re giving Target’s guests even more convenient options to find the perfect beauty items for their unique needs.”

Tapping into its younger consumer’s peer-to-peer messaging behaviour, Target is also introducing a text-to-get beauty advice service that will enable consumers to chat to Beauty Concierge representatives both on Target.com and via SMS. On the website users can click a ‘chat’ icon to type their questions and receive answers in real time, while on mobile users can text “BeautyChat” to a dedicated number to receive a response.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media Startups technology

Digital snippets: Amazon 3D printing, Zappos digital assistant, Target In a Snap app, and more

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech…

Jeff Bezos, Amazon 2012

  • What Amazon’s foray into 3D printing means for the industry [Fortune]
  • Zappos tests digital assistant that helps you track down any fashion item [CNET]
  • Target snaps up mobile shopping innovation with image recognition app [BrandChannel]
  • L’Oréal make-up goes virtual for selfie age [FT]
  • Yoox Group teams with messaging service WeChat [WWD]
  • Marie Claire’s innovative interactive magazine covers are breaking new ground in advertising real estate [BoF]
  • This Nike vending machine accepts only FuelBand points [Creativity]
  • Virtual reality: advertising’s next big thing? [AdAge]
  • Forever 21, Urban Outfitters among most popular retailers on Pinterest, relative newbie, Modcloth, tops list [Forbes]
  • 8 start-ups trying to help you find clothing that fits [Fashionista]
  • The new bazaar: in India, online stores catch on with buyers [NY Times]
  • New York Fashion Tech Lab program debuts at Hearst Tower [PSFK]