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June 26 2018
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PDD

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Digitalised senses and e-commerce

Way too many brands forget to include elements that affect human senses into their marketing campaigns, which force us to perceive their actions solely in terms of words and images. It is almost needless to say that we are surrounded by a multifaceted reality that impacts our senses, making it possible to live vivid and rich experiences.

Science has proven that the more senses stimulated, the better chances for brands to be remembered, because they switch on more parts of our brain. One could not have failed to observe the dramatic transformations e-commerce has undertaken in recent years. Whether used for recreational benefits or more serious purposes; multi-sensory technology embedded into the retail scene shows how smell, taste, sight and sounds can be converted into revolutionary innovations.

Stores as showrooms

Consequently, we have come to realise that bricks-and-mortar stores stand as showrooms where customers can get an idea of the products’ physical attributes. In the meantime, digital stores have acquired different meanings, as customers perceive them as ‘hubs’ where they can browse across various rooms and looks, selecting preferred items to watch videos of, review or have delivered at home or in store. The ever-increasing popularity of digital devices was quickly to usher in a new dimension of consumer purchases, called ‘visual commerce’. Studies unveiled that 67% of customers agree that the premium quality of the visual content is even more important than the item description and ratings.

A digitalised revolution

Latest technological advancements have made it possible to generate visually stimulating customer experiences across all touch points, adding new extents to how people make their purchase choices and purchasing decisions. In other words, the future will provide us with endless opportunities for everything to be clicked, scanned and bought. The idea of being able to take a photo of a pair of glasses as you walk by a window display and purchase it the next time you enter the store has comprehensively been taken into consideration.

Facial recognition

Speaking of glasses, visual commerce is already using virtual reality to create fitting rooms where people can upload a facial shot online and see which glasses style suits their features the best, according to their face shape or outfits.Google Glass AGCO

The multi-sensorial e-commerce opportunities do not end here, as brands came up with revolutionary and personalised buying solutions. Shops in Berlin have already made unusual purchase methods available, where a customer’s face is linked to a specific payment option. Eventually, the transaction is completed at checkout by simply scanning the face.

On the same note, face-recognising systems in China can now authorise payments, provide access to facilities and even track down criminals. Commonly referred to as Face++, the software is already being used by several money transfer and ride-handling apps that only use the face as credentials. Face++ highlights over 83 points on people’s face and the distance between them stands as a trusted means of identification.

Face++ software

The future is now

So what happens when a similar technology is integrated in the fashion retail environment? Would it not be great to be able to feel the touch of a delicate satin scarf or the scent of at bergamot-infused fragrance we see on our screens just before making the actual purchase?HaptX Gloves

HaptX Gloves propose a solution exactly to this limitation that seems to have kept the online retail market at a steady point. Announced in November 2017, HaptX Gloves are the world’s only haptic wearable that bring human touch to the virtual reality. ‘What really sets HaptX Gloves apart is the unprecedented realism they deliver. Our patented microfluidic technology physically displaces the skin the same way a real object would when touched, closely replicating its texture, shape, and movement.’  Said Jake Rubin, the Founder and CEO of HaptX Inc.

What else is in store for multisensory e-commerce?

Organisations will increasingly feel the need to address each individual’s needs as efficiently and personally as possible, in order to keep up with their ever-changing and fast-moving lifestyles and demands. As the virtual and physical worlds fuse even further, the greatest challenge for B2B and B2C players will lie on mastering the ‘predictive commerce’, which will turn the ’30 minutes delivery’ into a tangible reality, highlighting the importance of adjusting the offerings to the ‘want-it-now’ clients’ expectations.

Learn more about how multi-sensorial experiences can Colour our Taste here  

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Posted by PDD
@pddinnovation

Languages spoken: Global.
The last thing that inspired me: Design and Innovation.
My dream project: A project that makes a difference in the world.
My obsession: Develop successful, award-winning and world-first products and experiences.

Image credit AGCO, HaptX, MIT Technology Review

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