Contentstack, a Content Experience Platform (CXP) announced it has partnered with Valtech, a Contentstack Catalyst. The partnership will create an augmented reality (AR) proof of concept for the retail industry. The team used readily available enterprise-grade and open source technology to build an AR app in just four weeks. The approach demonstrates how quickly any business can leverage existing technology to build a working AR experience.
The retail industry is having to quickly adapt during the COVID pandemic to reduce in-person interactions. Using augmented reality, the Contentstack prototype helps retailers and brands to create touchless, engaging self-service experiences. Retailers using AR technology in this way can better attract customers to brick-and-mortar stores and increase foot traffic.
Developing AR prototype
“This app showcases how fast and easy it is to innovate with AR. It isn’t scary or difficult and we have the blueprint,” said Sonja Kotrotsos, Head of Product Marketing for Contentstack. “Rolling out immersive content experiences is a differentiator for brands. Rather than simply relying on text and video to tell their stories. Brands and retailers can use emerging technologies to build engaging, dynamic content-rich experiences that tell stories in more digestible ways. We are helping businesses develop a digital landscape that is dynamic, changeable and extensible to fit with technologies like AR.”
Using microservices, API-first, cloud-native SaaS and headless (MACH) technologies, Contentstack and Valtech built a prototype application. The application simulates using web-based AR within an in-store shopping experience for a skincare product category, specifically serums. In the first scenario, the app demonstrates the point of sale (POS) experience. Selecting serums from a range of available options, with information on ingredients and product reviews. At this stage, a personalised recommendation can be offered to the customer. This recommendation is based on integrations with influencer marketing programmes. Or via a pre-existing profile, such as purchase history or personal skincare goals.
The next scenario highlights the “first use” experience. Once the customer has purchased the serum, they can access the same AR application at home to receive usage instructions. This could include how much to use, at which step in the routine. How frequently and any information on contraindications based on their existing skincare regime.
The last scenario demonstrates how customers can use the AR application after using the product for a period of time. Personalised recommendations can be given to adjust use, offer repurchase, suggest a different product (e.g. concentration of active ingredients). Or propose complementary products. Customers can also leave a review at this stage, which is incorporated into the first scenario. “This proof of concept showed how any business can use Contentstack’s headless content management system to create an AR application,” said Pascal Lagarde, Vice President of Commerce at Valtech.
“Robust workflows, easy internationalisation and Contenstack’s capability for personalisation through integrations made it seamless for our team to build an amazing AR app for the beauty industry. This is an industry rife with complex information that needs to be easily understood and personalised to the customer. This proof of concept shows how brands can support in-store shopping experience, making it easier to convey information to consumers. It helps customers engage in a way that’s relevant to their interests.”
Enterprise Times: What this means for business
There’s been a few AR proof of concepts for retailers over the years. But very few have taken off. Any tools that help shoppers to make informed purchasing decision and drive conversions can only support retailers. Giving consumers the ability to try the products before purchase can only support online retailers. Brands now must strike a balance between customer experience and safety in the post-COVID-19 world. Consequently, Contentstack and Valtech prototype sounds like amazing news. The ability to utilise enterprise-grade and open source technology to build an AR app in just four weeks. This maybe the functionality brands could embrace to enhance user journeys and revenues. The proof is in the deployment and adoption.