Retail Customer Experience: Technology Meets Beauty in a New York Subway Station
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Customer Experience, a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping experience.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has teamed with L’Oreal to launch an interactive "virtual retail" kiosk that can detect the colors in a user’s clothes and then recommends beauty products with coordinating hues.
The kiosk’s large screen, situated next to a full-length smart mirror, is loaded with software that scans the user to create digital animations that represent their silhouette. The colors the user is wearing appear alongside their reflection, accompanied by eye, lip and nail shade recommendations that match or clash with their outfit.
The kiosk gives customers the option to purchase the recommended products, or if they decide not buy, they can opt to send the look to their e-mail to save for later. A third screen on the kiosk displays blog posts and photos from influential NYC beauty bloggers.
The kiosk, which was developed by digital agency R/GA with advertising muscle from CBS Outdoor, is in a pilot that officially launched Nov. 4 at the city’s Fifth Avenue Bryant Park subway station.
In an interview with Retail Customer Experience’s sister publication, Kiosk Marketplace, Paul Fleuranges, senior director of communication for the MTA, said wide acceptance of its MetroCard Vending Machines has shown that consumers have little aversion to using debit or credit at a vending kiosk to purchase a product. The rollout of its On the Go! Travel Station kiosk, which features travel information, further demonstrates customers’ comfort using kiosks.
Mr. Fleuranges said the MTA has seen retail-focused kiosks used in other systems in the U.S. and elsewhere. It still will be looking to L’Oreal and R/GA for insight into customer interactions, whether passive and active, as well as conversion in assessing the potential for more retail-focused kiosks in stations
"We need to understand the business metrics behind it before we move forward," said Mr. Fleuranges. "But yes, we do have an interest in general in the technology and feel it can help us generate ROI on those in-system real estate assets that are underperforming. They may also play a role where we have removed station booths. Our hope, of course, is that other retail or e-tail focused technology can help us improve the customer experience and also generate additional non-farebox revenue."
- Technology Meets Beauty in a New York Subway Station – Retail Customer Experience
- MTA Pilots Virtual Retail in Subway – MTA
What do you see as the greatest opportunities for retailers and brands to use recognition technologies? Do you see a greater potential to use the technologies on store floors or in offsite locations?