Face Recognition and its Application in Retail (Part 2)

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In our last few articles, we touched on how face recognition and AI is changing the world for marketing specialists. Using face recognition instead of intrusive advertising such as full-page ads and automatic videos makes it possible to lure customers in instead of pushing them away. We shared last week how AI and face recognition has made it possible for customers to try out new products and test them for themselves before they even get to see the product. In fact, this technology even makes it possible to take some products for a test drive, so to speak, before the product is even available. We promised last week to tell you how this is possible. Here is more about face recognition and its application in retail.

The Customer’s Face Gave Them Away

We shared last week how emotional analytics are allowing customers to actually be the star of their own advertising campaign. Facebook’s Deepface face recognition allows the app to actually scan the user’s face as he or she scrolls down the timeline. If Sally frowns when she sees lemon cupcakes on her page, then the stored data about Sally allows advertisers to know that she probably doesn’t like lemon cupcakes. But if Sam smiled at a post about football in his timeline, then marketers can assume that he likes football and may be interested in purchasing tickets to a game or buying sports equipment. It is to see why face recognition technology could be valuable for those in marketing, but what about retail?

You see how face recognition can help marketers learn what each customer likes and doesn’t like. That makes it easy for online stores to focus their ads for the customers. But what about retail shops? How can a brick and mortar business use this technology to give their customer’s a personal experience every time they enter the store?

It Gives Retailers Inside Knowledge

Say that the face recognition technology that allowed marketers to learn that Sally doesn’t like lemon cupcakes was connected to the local bakery. Now, when Sally enters the store, a camera can scan her face, and the store owner immediately sees that while Sally frowns at lemon cupcakes, she almost drools at images of chocolate ones and even downloaded a recipe for double fudge cake once. The clerk already knows Sally’s tastes before she ever even speaks.

The same is true of Sam’s football games. As soon as Sam enters the mall or local sports equipment store, the store clerk is already aware of Sam’s likes and dislikes. He knows that Sam is an avid football player who is passionate about the game. He even knows Sam’s favorite team. It is easy to guide Sam over to the right section of the store to make a sale.

Immersive Advertising Experiences

But what about the “try it before you buy it” experience? Face recognition, along with AI can make it possible for customers to try out a product or service before they purchase it. As we shared last week, Susie can simply pick up her iPhone, and allow face recognition to map her face. Then a beauty app can actually give Susie a complete virtual makeover and allow her to try out different beauty products to see how they will look on her face. When Susie arrives at the beauty store, if the store has connected to that app, the clerk already knows exactly which products will make Susie look her best, and what to recommend for Susie. This could be implemented into other shopping experiences such as playing sports, trying on clothes, or even driving a car.

Those are just a few of the many examples of face recognition and its application in retail. Next week, we will explore the importance of face recognition to retailers.