Alibaba Group debuted its first “FashionAI” concept store.
The store showing a stress-free way to shop with the help of artificial intelligence.
The pilot store, open for a limited time at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, showcases Guess apparel through innovations such as “smart mirrors,” which display product information on a nearby screen when shoppers are touching or picking up a garment. The smart mirror also makes mix-and-match recommendations and points to where the suggested items can be found in the store, so shoppers can try on a complete outfit at one go.
In addition, each item has its own intelligent lock, supported by radio-frequency identification, gyro-sensors, and Bluetooth low-energy chips. This allows the mirror to more accurately capture movement and spot the colors, styles, and attributes that are most popular among customers.
Currently, under development by a New Retail-focused research team at Alibaba, the FashionAI initiative taps technologies ranging from machine learning to computer vision to “learn” from consumers, designers and fashion aficionados within the e-commerce giant’s ecosystem. These insights include images of more than 500,000 outfits put together by stylists on Taobao, as well as expertise shared by brands, Alibaba said in a statement.
FashionAI’s recommendation capabilities expand beyond the limits of a brick-and-mortar store. Alibaba plans to release a new “virtual wardrobe” feature on its Mobile Taobao app, which would allow shoppers to view clothes they’ve tried on in-store, as well as mix-and-match recommendations across brands that include items from more merchants on Alibaba’s shopping sites, Taobao and Tmall.
Alibaba also looks to take the hassle out of trying on clothes. In the concept store, shoppers won’t need to carry around items at all. They can simply use the smart mirror to add them to their virtual shopping cart, alerting the staff to prepare the selected garments and accessories for them in a fitting room. If shoppers want to try an item in a different size or color, they can update their selection on the fitting room’s smart mirror, and the staff will bring the new items right away.