Snapshot of the future: driving retail innovation with smartphone cameras


Using a smartphone to shop is hardly new – but retailers are finding increasingly innovative ways to utilise device cameras to deliver better customer experiences. As an article on Business News Daily explains, smartphone cameras are helping people find and purchase the products they want, seamlessly.

 

Price comparison in a flash

Mobile devices give consumers the opportunity to compare prices before buying, but typing in product details can be fiddly and frustrating. Major retailers have found an answer: scanning a barcode with a smartphone camera pulls up an automated price comparison.

Many brands including Amazon offer in-app price comparison scanning, which enables the consumer to find the same item for less elsewhere. Some niche apps offer results from a huge range of stores to show the best prices. For example, ShopSavvy compares prices at Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart.

 

Show me similar products

When a product hits the right note with a consumer, they often want more of the same. Visual search technology enables shoppers to snap a photo of a product and search for similar items by uploading the image.

For example, some retail apps allow users to upload a picture of a skirt and search for products in the same colour or style – as well as giving the opportunity to identify and purchase the product itself. eBay’s app also lets users search for visually similar items using the search bar.

 

Augmented reality provides context

Augmented reality (AR) is one of the most exciting areas of retail tech innovation. It provides a way for shoppers to see what a product would look like in a given environment, such as their home or office, before buying. The basic version shows an image of the item overlaid on a photo of the location, while more sophisticated formats show 3D models within live streamed video footage, so users can walk around the room and see how the item would look from different angles.

The Amazon app now features augmented reality for enabled devices, helping to bring this technology into the mainstream. Shoppers simply click the camera icon in the app’s search bar and select AR View to use this feature.

If you’re keen to deliver a better customer experience through tech innovation, why not join our Engineering team? Check out our current vacancies for more information.

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