The holiday season in 2023 is fast approaching, and retailers are gearing up for a tech-driven shopping experience like never before.
According to a 2023 Outbrain report, the holiday retail season, which spans from November to December, will grow by 4.5% this year to $1.3 trillion, with e-commerce sales expected to grow by 11.9%. With the ever-evolving landscape of consumer preferences, businesses need to stay updated on the latest trends to capitalize on the holiday season boom.
So, how can retailers leverage technology to create a memorable and satisfying shopping experience for their customers that boosts holiday retail sales? Let's explore seven key retail trends for the holiday season 2023.
1. AI-Driven Personalization
Artificial intelligence (AI) driven personalization is becoming increasingly sophisticated and will be a significant trend for retailers this holiday season. For example, retailers are using customer data to provide tailored product recommendations and create customized shopping journeys. AI technology analyzes customer behavior, preferences, and feedback to help retailers deliver relevant and personalized content, such as products they are most likely to buy.
One of the leading companies in AI-driven personalization is PerfectCorp., which offers AI solutions for makeup, skincare, and fashion accessories. Perfect Corp.'s AI solutions help customers find tailored recommendations based on their skin tone, face shape, and style preferences, taking personalization a step further. This AI-powered technology integrates seamlessly with e-commerce platforms to enhance and streamline customers’ retail experience.
2. Virtual Try-On and Fitting Rooms
Virtual try-on solutions are also gaining popularity this holiday season, allowing customers to see how makeup, accessories, and even clothing look on them. With the help of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence, customers can try on products in real time using their computer or smartphone cameras.
Perfect Corp.'s virtual try-on solutions are among the most advanced and realistic on the market. Customers can try on hundreds of makeup products from different brands, as well as accessories like rings, earrings, and necklaces. This advanced AR technology lets shoppers see a live 3D rendering of products on their bodies, moving with them as they move. Plus, consumers can instantly switch between products to see what suits them best and mix and match multiple products. With the use of emerging generative AI technologies, consumers can even visualize how trending fashion styles will appear when worn, unlocking limitless possibilities for shopping inspiration and personalization.
Virtual try-on technology is a game-changer for online retail, helping customers see what items will look like in person. In the saturated atmosphere of holiday shopping, when every brand tries to market its gifts, this unique feature gives companies a competitive advantage.
Virtual try-on helps to increase conversions, improve customer satisfaction, and decrease returns — making it a win-win for all parties. Plus, Perfect Corp.’s technology lets users upload a photo of a friend or loved one for a virtual try-on, helping them find the perfect gift.
3. Sustainability and Green Tech
In 2023, shoppers are more conscious of sustainability, with 78% of consumers feeling that sustainability is important. More people are looking for products and brands that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. As a result, more retailers are incorporating green technology, such as energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, and showcasing eco-friendly products and packaging options.
Perfect Corp.'s tech can help brands be more sustainable by reducing the need for physical samples and testers, which can generate a lot of waste and carbon emissions. With Perfect Corp.’s virtual try-on (VTO) technology, customers can try on products virtually without touching or disposing of them. Plus, the reduced return rates associated with VTO help to fight the waste produced by retail returns.
4. Live Streaming and Interactive Shopping
Live streaming shopping events — where influencers or brand representatives showcase products in real time — are gaining momentum. Customers can interact with the hosts and other viewers through chat or by joining the live event, asking questions, giving feedback, and even making purchases during these broadcasts.
For example, brands may have a TikTok ambassador who hosts ‘lives’ for launches, events, or to showcase specific products. Companies can link products to their website or TikTok shop to boost sales on these live-streaming events.
Retailers can use the same strategy on other platforms like Instagram, where companies can also list their products in Instagram shops. The live-stream movement in retail is akin to the modern version of television shopping networks, where live actors and influencers show off products in the best light.
Gamifying the shopping experience with loyalty points, rewards, and interactive challenges can engage and retain customers. Retailers can use gamification to create fun and immersive experiences that motivate customers to explore more products, spend more time on their platforms, and share feedback. The gamification trend leaves room for creativity, with endless options for creating fun customer experiences. Some examples of gamification in retail look like:
- An online game featuring certain products
- A personality quiz offering personalized product recommendations
- A virtual try-on game that lets players dress up
- A social media filter game that players can record and send to friends or post on their story
- A virtual reality (VR) experience that lets consumers see 3D renderings of products
6. Robotics and Automation
Retailers are also implementing robotics and automation for tasks like inventory management, order fulfillment, and even customer service. Robots and automation can help streamline operations and enhance the overall shopping experience. AI-powered automation is helping businesses efficiently keep track of stock and predict trends, optimizing their inventory and reducing costs.
Some retailers may even use in-store robots to provide a novelty factor that attracts customers' attention and curiosity. For example, AI-powered kiosks can be tailored for a variety of brand types to answer questions, play games, view inventory, and try on products virtually.
7. Mobile Shopping and Apps
Mobile shopping is becoming the norm for online retailers. With the convenience of shopping from a smartphone and the rise in mobile users worldwide, retailers must optimize their websites and apps for mobile use. Speed, ease of navigation, and secure payment methods are critical in the mobile shopping landscape, and well-made shopping apps can help achieve this.
Mobile apps for brands make for a seamless mobile shopping experience, helping to boost sales. As an added bonus, Perfect Corp.’s virtual try-on technology can integrate with apps to take VTO on the go. Now, customers can try on products with their smartphones from anywhere, anytime.
Get Ahead With Perfect Corp.
As the 2023 holiday season approaches, retailers should stay ahead of the curve by embracing these retail tech trends. Personalization, AI & AR, sustainability, and other innovative strategies will help businesses meet the evolving needs and expectations of today's customers.
Perfect Corp. is the global leader in AI and AR solutions for beauty and fashion brands. Perfect Corp.'s revolutionary AI-powered technology can help retailers create engaging and satisfying shopping experiences that drive sales and brand loyalty.
Retail Trends FAQs:
1. What is the significance of personalization in retail for the Holiday Season 2023?
Personalization is significant because it can help retailers differentiate themselves from their competitors, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, and boost sales and revenue. Customers are more likely to buy from retailers that understand their needs, preferences, and tastes and offer them relevant and customized products.
2. How can retailers provide personalized shopping experiences?
Retailers can provide personalized shopping experiences using AI-driven personalization solutions that analyze customer data and behavior, delivering tailored content, offers, and services. Retailers can also use virtual try-on solutions that let customers see how products look on them and receive personalized recommendations based on their unique features.
3. How does AI improve the retail experience during the holidays?
AI can improve the retail experience during the holidays by helping brands offer their customers faster, easier, and more convenient shopping options. AI can also help retailers create more engaging and interactive shopping experiences that capture customers' attention and interest. Plus, AI can optimize operations and inventory management by providing real-time data and insights.
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