Retail

H&M Brings Visual Search To Upgraded eCommerce Site

H&M

H&M has given its mobile app and eCommerce site a digital makeover, bringing a myriad of new features to online customers. The upgraded platforms now let shoppers search for an item by using an image, Chain Store Age reported.

Visual search allows shoppers to upload a photo, and the platforms use that photo to search for relevant items. In addition, shoppers can find products by scanning their price tags, allowing them to check size and color options. Beyond search features, the upgraded platforms enable shoppers to review products that they purchased online — they can rate an item on a five-star scale and provide feedback on the fit and size.

H&M is also rolling out a voice-activated mirror in its flagship New York City location. The device offers style recommendations, selfies and a route to eCommerce, Forbes reported in June. Microsoft, Ombori and Visual Art worked to create the device, which “sleeps” until facial detection technology turns it on. The device then asks the person to take a selfie, which appears on the screen in the style of a magazine cover — the user can download the image by scanning an on-screen QR code. The idea is to use the technology to create a relationship.

“In physical spaces, you have a lot of people, so the focus is on triggering a relationship,” Ombori founder and CEO Andreas Hassellöf told Forbes. “The formula is based on creating surprise, satisfaction of experience and then making a conversion.”

Beyond the mirror and upgraded digital platforms, H&M is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to tailor the merchandising mix in its brick-and-mortar stores to reduce markdowns and break out of a sales lull. The fashion retailer is using algorithms to gain insights from returns, receipts and data from loyalty cards to improve its bottom lines, according to Retail Dive.

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