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Editor's pick Retail technology

Bourjois unveils virtual try-on triggered by physical products

Bourjois Magic Mirror
Bourjois Magic Mirror

Coty-owned makeup brand Bourjois has unveiled a new smart mirror experience that enables shoppers to virtually try on make-up simply by picking up a cosmetic product in store.

Available at the brand’s newly relaunched boutique in Paris, the blended reality mirror is said to be an industry first as it integrates physical product – in this case makeup – with the augmented reality experience happening on the screen.

Shoppers can, for instance, pick up a lipstick and the chosen colour will instantly appear on their lips via the smart screen. The connected screen currently features the ‘pick up’ experience with the Rouge Velvet lipstick collection, and shoppers can then complete the digital look via onscreen eye make-up and blush, which is matched to their individual skin tones.

“As part of our desire to reinvent the retail experience through purposeful and personalized innovation, the Bourjois Magic Mirror represents the most extensive integration of physical products and digital content in the beauty industry,” said Elodie Levy, Coty’s global digital innovation senior director.

“Most women intuitively prefer to play with a lipstick rather than touch a screen, as there is an inherent sensual aspect in cosmetics packaging that no technology can replace, and our new Magic Mirror provides this desired experience to shoppers.”

Coty’s innovation comes from research that shows that 72% of consumers want an in-store beauty experience to be a mixture of both physical and digital elements in order to feel more ‘believable’. Moreover, the company believes virtual product try-on solves other retail-related issues such as testers not being available, as well as general hygiene concerns.

To create this experience, Coty worked with London-based digital studio Holition and retail marketing experts Perch. Holition is also responsible for Charlotte Tilbury’s in-store smart mirror, as well as Rimmel London’s makeup filters on Facebook Stories, but what differs in the Bourjois experience from other mirrors, however, is that it is customizable by product, as opposed to previous mirrors that focus on looks. Holition’s FACE software also allows skin tones to be analysed, thus providing a more personalized experience.

The experience is complemented by NY-based Perch’s expertise in the mirror’s form and function, where the smart camera monitors a defined area for activity, and automatically triggers visual content.

On the future of in-store marketing, Perch Interactive CEO Trevor Sumner says it is about blending digital experiences naturally into the shopper journey. “The Bourjois Magic Mirror uses computer vision to sense the most important indication of interest in physical retail – when a shopper touches a product – unlocking an experience that encourages natural pathways of discovery, education and engagement.”

Tapping into the digitally-connected beauty shopper’s need for peer engagement, the mirror also offers three playful filters and a feature that takes selfies, which can either be printed in-store or sent to the customer via email, which links to purchase all trialled items at Bourjois’ online channel.

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Retail technology

Mango launches digital fitting rooms

Mango digital fitting room
Mango’s digital fitting room

Mango is the latest fashion retailer to be exploring digital fitting rooms, creating an “Internet of Things mirror” in partnership with Vodafone and Jogotech.

The experience allows shoppers to scan the tags in the items they have brought in to see suggestions of pieces that would complete the look, as well as be able to request different sizes and colors of the ones they’re trying on. Sales associates are alerted via a digital watch.

The mirrors currently exist in the brand’s new flagship store in Lisbon, and is being tested in other cities worldwide. The aim is to roll the digital fitting rooms out to all of the company’s top stores.

According to the team, this is the first phase of a digital transformation project for Mango designed to create new ways for customers to engage and relate to the brand.

Mango’s chief client officer, Guillermo Corominas, said: “This is a really exciting project for Mango. We see the future of retailing as a blend of the online and the offline. These new fitting rooms are another step in the digital transformation of our stores to create a whole new experience for our customers.”

Vodafone’s director of Internet of Things, Stefano Gastaut, added: “This project helps put more power at the shopper’s fingertips and will bring Mango closer to its fashion conscious shoppers and offer them more options and experiences than a conventional fitting room.”

Other retailers experimenting with this sort of technology have included Rebecca Minkoff, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. The latter has made it a standard part of the refit of its Regent Street store, dubbed its “store of the future” in London.

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Editor's pick technology

Neiman Marcus trials smart memory mirror – NRF Big Show

neimanmarcus_memomi2

You might remember the Intel MemoMi mirror from the NRF Big Show in 2014 – a smart device for the fitting room that captures 10-second clips of shoppers in their new looks.

Using patented “perspective-distortion correction” technology, it shows 360-degree back and side views of each outfit, and “remembers” each of them so they can be reviewed from the mirror interface afterwards.

It was back again this year, and this time with Neiman Marcus signed as a partner.

The US department store is currently trialling the mirror in its Walnut Creek store in California, where it’s been receiving incredibly strong feedback, says Scott Emmons, enterprise architect within information services at the company’s innovation lab, also known as its iLab.

“We loved this because it can give an amazing experience for the customer as well as real insight into what she wants to buy,” he told me at the NRF show earlier this week. Indeed the benefit of the mirror for retailers is being able to gather data on things like demographics, body measurements and fit, as well as preferential styles and conversion rates on different pieces.

In an additional use for the mirror, Neiman Marcus also found its sales associates wanted to create an account where they can record videos of models in new looks and send them directly to shoppers to take a look at. Emmons says doing so is already leading to conversions, proving the device also has potential as a sales tool.

Neiman Marcus is planning to follow up on the pilot with two more stores in San Francisco and Dallas.

“We will spend a few weeks learning what’s working and what isn’t, and make a decision if it is to be a chain-wide roll out from there or not. I’m pushing for it to be that; it’s a really exciting project,” said Emmons.

According to WWD, Neiman Marcus is also running another test in a number of stores with Apple iBeacon technology, enabling shoppers to receive notifications on their mobile devices regarding discount promotions, new product arrivals, designer appearances and other special events.

Both technology introductions at Neiman Marcus are part of a wider trend evident at NRF’s Big Show towards the connected store or the internet of things. Alongside beacons and smart fixtures were insights on clienteling solutions, analytics and a series of innovations spanning touchless checkouts to connected fitting rooms.

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Triumph latest brand to experiment with augmented reality, virtual mirrors

Triumph has partnered with augmented reality technology provider Holition to offer shoppers at Selfridges in London, the opportunity to virtually try on its new collection.

Through the ‘Fantasy Mirror’, women can see themselves wearing items from the Triumph Essence line, without removing a single item of clothing. The mirror uses a motion sensor camera that scans anyone standing in front of it. Infra-red technology then creates an accurate 3D reconstruction of the environment, facilitating a female avatar with real-time movement.

Jonathan Chippindale, CEO of Holition, said: “The Fantasy Mirror demonstrates how 3D virtual reality solutions can be used to develop the consumer experience. We have integrated elegant design with innovative technology to give female shoppers something they have never seen before. The mirror is not an alternative to trying-on clothes, but an additional shopping experience. Consumer expectations are constantly changing as technology evolves and Holition is proud to support this evolution by providing complementary services.”

The Fantasy Mirror was created in partnership with OgilvyAction, and unveiled at Selfridges last month alongside the new Triumph collection, by Helena Christensen (as pictured).