Smart Mirrors Brings Experience Shopping to Australian Shoppers

Chandan Panda By Chandan Panda | 02 Sep 2019

A recent report from Forrester stated that more than 70 per cent of retailers worldwide claims to spend on in-store digital technology to give their customers more personalised experience and digital shopping experience.

Facing tough competition from online retailers are trying different ways to increase in-store foot traffic suing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. ShopExp has introduced Digital Smart Mirrors where users can now try on clothes, jewellery, sunglasses, makeup and other accessories even without taking them off.

Building these mirrors provide not just to give virtual try-on experience to users, but in a view to offer the brick-and-mortar stores the advantage that online currently has. Through these mirrors, retailers get real ROI by cross-selling, up-selling, personalised customer service, one point inventory access and much more.

With less than a month from its launch in July, The Party People, Australia’s largest party store is one of the first to get on-board with ShopExp to change the future of retail shopping. They will use the Smart Mirrors at their new flagship store in Melbourne with a grand opening on 2nd September where their customers can virtually try on costumes, masks, hats and other accessories without going to the change room. The customers also get to view all the details of the costume they are trying as they would see on the website’s product page. This is an authentic omnichannel experience that these Smart Mirrors will be providing to the shoppers.

In my recent interaction with Dean Salakas, CEO of The Party People, this is what he had to say.

Tell us something about your new store?

“It’s Australia’s largest and only Halloween pop up megastore with over 10,000 Halloween decorations, candy and costumes. It’s in the old Toys ‘R’ Us store at Westfield Knox, in Victoria,” explained Mr Salakas.

Why are you using Smart Mirrors at the store, and what benefits you see in it for your store?

“Trying on costumes is fun for some and a nightmare for others because you just don’t really know what you want. Each change can take 10-15 minutes with some costumes due to all the pieces, accessories and parts to the costumes. Smart mirrors just make sense in being a technology that will help customer consider a large variety of costumes without putting them on. Most people currently look at each packet to see what the costume is, and that packet has a model which is often a different body shape, meaning that the customer has to try the costume on to get a better indication if it works for them. The smart mirror helps out with that dilemma.”

What do you like about the smart mirrors? What benefits do you think you and customers will get out of it?

“The benefits to the customer – Try on many costumes very quickly without needing to get changed. Many people do feel uncomfortable changing in dressing rooms as not everybody likes getting undressed anywhere but their own home,” he said.

“The benefits to the retailer – Repackaging costumes is very time consuming; you need to check all the pieces are there, ensure no marks or damage and then pack into the packet and return to the shelf. Folding costumes is many of my staff’s most hated role in the store. Magic mirrors allow customers to try costumes on without taking them out of the packet.”

“The Smart Mirrors will not only let the customers try on costumes virtually but will let us give the full inventory access to the customers at one point, get try-on analytics for better stocking and various other advantages like cross-selling and up-sell to increase sales,” he said.

The Party People is hosting a mega-event on Saturday, the 7th of September with activities like face painting, a jumping castle and spooky displays, complete with Halloween lollies, The Digital Mirror and much more.

This is the beginning of a new era of experiential shopping and putting digital in physical is at its core.