Augmented reality can bring a whole new experience to the purchase of clothing, but storytelling skills can add a crucial link when using this technology to connect place and culture for customers in retail settings.
That has been the experience of Cryptid Clothing, a design company from San Francisco, in the US, based on research from University of Melbourne information systems specialist Dr Christoph Breidbach.
Cryptid Clothing creates unique t-shirt designs based on mythical creatures such as Big Foot and the Loch Ness monster. The hand-printed designs also act as trigger images for augmented-reality software. When scanned with a smartphone or tablet, they activate an animation related to the design that is printed on the t-shirt. For example, one is a video based on the 1955 horror science-fiction film It Came from Beneath the Sea, which is set in San Francisco.
Dr Breidbach from the university’s School of Computing and Information Systems has worked with the US-based company to identify how to use augmented reality to improve in-store service experiences for Cryptid Clothing’s customers.
My research was designed to help streamline the operation and management of the augmented-reality technology, Dr Breidbach says. However, he found that technology itself was not enough to engage customers.
It is not about having, or not having, augmented-reality applications in your business. What matters is how you use and implement it. He recommended that sales staff adopt a “storytelling” approach around the t-shirt design — supported by the use of an iPad, which played the video or animation.
This resulted in a real “wow” response from customers. The strategy also translated into significantly increased sales for the company.Dr Christoph Breidbach
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