4 Retailers Reinventing UX in Asia
Retailers are using the Asia market as a testbed for new and creative use of digital technology that aligns with increasing consumer demand for connected experiences in everything from car buying to in-store payments solutions. The Current Daily recently reported on its 4 favorite examples of retailers trying out interesting user experiences for shoppers.
1) Starbucks’ Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt
Coffee giant Starbucks is giving customers of its Shanghai Reserve Roastery in China something interactive to do while waiting for their grande lattes. Through Chinese shopping app Taobao, customers scan a code in the store which allows them to scan various coffee machines, calling up a bevy of interactive AR content about the coffee brewing process, including how the machines work.
2) Ford and Alibaba’s Kitty Cat Car Vending Machine
U.S. automaker Ford and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba have teamed on an unstaffed car vending machine in Guangzhou, China, which allows would-be customers to test-drive vehicles before they buy them. The machine (which, of course, is shaped like a cat), is completely self-service, and uses facial recognition or a personal login to check out a car for a period of up to 3 days. The service is only available to Alibaba’s “Super Members,” and requires a background check through the app to access.
3) Shiseido’s Smarter Smart Mirror
Shiseido, the Japanese cosmetics company, recently opened a high-tech store in Tokyo’s Ginza Six shopping center to offer customers more personalized content and product advice. The flagship store’s smart mirrors photograph customers, which then provide them with detailed, customized advice on skin care as well as product recommendations for their specific skin type. The store is also outfitted with smart tables that trigger additional product information on nearby smart screens when a product is picked up by a customer.

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4) Jack & Jones, Vero Moda Let You Pay With Your Face
Another take on the “smart store” concept is being pioneered by Danish fashion brands Jack & Jones and Vero Moda. The brands have opened 2 stores in China that harness Tencent’s facial recognition technology to facilitate cashless purchases. Digital kiosks scan customers’ faces and debit their WeChat wallets. The technology can also perform a face scan in the dressing rooms and make personalized recommendations guided by the customer’s shopping history.
 Retailers are reinventing the in-store experience around the globe, but Asia markets are where the most innovative and experimental new technologies are making their first appearance. If successful, the rollouts could offer a glimpse into the future of interactive retail.

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