Wearables in Big Ticket Retail

Written BY

Emily Friedman

November 10, 2015

Industry: Retail Automotive plus High-end or “Big-ticket” Retail; Company: Amari Supercars; Device: Smart Glasses; Location: UK

We’ve mentioned the use of wearable tech in the automotive industry on the back-end or operations side of things, but what about customer-facing applications of wearables in the auto industry? (And we’re not talking about an Apple Watch app to adjust the AC in your car.) You may recall that we previously profiled Dawsons Music on this blog—the British music retailer has been using an innovative wearable tech solution by UK startup GoInStore. Well, GoInStore is back at it, this time applying its solution to big-ticket retail scenarios in the auto industry.

Thanks to GoInStore, buyers can now use wearable technology to check out AMARI’s selection of luxury cars online; and the bonus is that customers themselves don’t need to own a pair of smart glasses to do so.

AMARI, a global supplier of prestige and high-performance supercars, is using GoInStore’s technology at its Preston showroom, where staff are wearing smart glasses to show off the features of various car models to potential online buyers from a first-person perspective. Thanks to a one-way live video stream and two-way audio, customers can live chat with an in-store salesperson as well as view particular parts and details of any car as if in the showroom themselves.

As of early October, Amari had sold three cars using GoInStore’s solution, which has the potential to revolutionize the high-end retail industry. Buying big-ticket items online – whether an expensive electric guitar, a sports car, a piece of furniture, or a designer handbag – is not ideal for most consumers; it’s difficult to imagine how a guitar plays, how a car drives, how a table will look in your foyer, or the quality of the leather used to make a handbag via the traditional online shopping experience. And herein lies the value of GoInStore’s platform and wearable technology in general for retailers: Leveraging wearables to…

1) Facilitate customers’ shopping both on-the-go and from the comfort of their own homes (or offices)

2) Engage ready-to-buy customers much earlier in the sales process, and build buyer trust over the Web during the crucial information-gathering or browsing stage, and

3) Ultimately close online sales both quickly and definitively

For Amari, GoInStore’s solution extends the car purchasing experience beyond the physical showroom. Amari employees are able to convey their vast knowledge of the company’s offerings to buyers in an online environment, which would otherwise lack context or expert input. This is significant for a business whose clientele (investors, collectors) are not only extremely busy but also based all around the world. These customers typically know what they want yet are unable to make a trip to the showroom to test drive a car in person. Previously limited in their buying judgment to pictures on Amari’s website, prospective international buyers can now virtually visit the car showroom and experience various models through the eyes (or glasses) of Amari’s expert sales team in real time. The online shopping experience thus becomes a first-person one, giving the luxury car retailer an edge over the competition.

This service offered to Amari’s customers is supported by GoInStore’s server infrastructure and artificial intelligence, which quickly analyzes online behavior to ensure the online customer is connected to the showroom expert best placed to assist them.

Time and time again we see that it’s the point-of-view vantage point enabled by smart glasses that’s key, no matter the industry really. Back in the Google Glass Explorer phase of smart glass technology, Daniel Fontaine of Colonial VW of Westborough put smart glasses to use in a rather simple but effective way: Fontaine utilized Glass to record several unique, first-person perspective videos for use on the dealership’s website as well as in email marketing campaigns, including an “Introduction to Colonial VW” video for potential clients to get a sense of what they could expect upon visiting the car showroom. The GoInStore-Amari use case shows that wearable tech has come a long way in the retail automotive industry in just a few short years.

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