Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

How retail tech is appealing to, and benefiting, both consumers and brands

Discovery and consideration are in a different place than before the pandemic. With less access to in-person touchpoints, consumers started exploring technology like augmented reality (AR) for their shopping needs. Brands have since launched new experiences to cater to consumer demands, but preexisting implementations also saw upticks in usage.

What’s New

Many brands and retailers are now investing in means to test out products from afar:

  • H&Mbeyond, the innovation lab for H&M, partnered with NeXR Technologies to create a virtual fitting room. Using technology based on NeXR’s 3D photogrammetry scanner, H&M customers can create lifelike digital avatars of themselves on which they can try out outfits.
  • Kohl’s worked with Snapchat to develop an AR experience, called Kohl’s AR Virtual Closet. Now, Snapchat users can try on clothes from home and make purchases in-app.
  • Eyewear retailers, like Warby Parker, EyeBuyDirect, and BJ’s Optical, provide virtual fitting tools, allowing consumers to try on multiple styles using AR.
  • Ulta Beauty and Estée Lauder have both deployed tools to allow consumers to virtually apply foundation, makeup, and other products. Ulta Beauty’s GlamLab had over 19 million virtual shade try-ons during the pandemic up to June 2020, according to the company’s chief digital officer Prama Bhatt. Meanwhile, Estée Lauder’s virtual tools, including iMatch Virtual Shade Expert, launched in December 2019 across a number of its brands, drove a conversion rate two-and-a-half times higher than usual, not to mention increased customer loyalty. In fact, virtual try-ons doubled Estée Lauder’s total number of sessions between Q1 and Q2 of the 2021 fiscal year.

Why It’s Important

These assistive selling technologies don’t just provide unique experiences when the customer is physically distant from the product being sold; they are also being increasingly sought out in brick and mortar.

“A virtual try-on with a smart mirror, when coupled with POS data, gives retailers insight as to which products are converting at a higher rate and which are not, providing opportunities to optimize merchandising and buying decisions,” said Jeremy Goldman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence and author of our recent report, “Ecommerce and Retail Customer Experience 2021.

Our Take

Although the pandemic drove the rising popularity of these types of experiences, sheer convenience means we’ll see more of them in the future. These technologies have the unique benefit of appealing to both consumers and retailers alike: Consumers can experience products on their own terms, while retailers get access to context-rich data minable for business insights. Ultimately, businesses should assess whether AR and remote video can serve as discoverability and sales aids. In many cases, the answer is yes.