Covid had a domino effect on sportswear brands and retailers
Major retail businesses shuttered stores during early 2020 and re-focused their efforts online. Sports & fitness industry saw major shifts in consumer behaviour with stay-at-home and social distancing measures.
Retail sales dropped by 8.7% in March 2020 in the US (~USD46.2bn) as per an April 2020 report by the US Commerce Department. Read more in our Covid-19 Impact report.
To counter the covid impact, sportswear brands have adopted innovative technologies to ramp up e-commerce efforts and get offline stores ready for a post-covid scenario.
At the forefront is Visual AI technology – a combination of computer vision and artificial intelligence – which elevates online and in-store shopping experiences by improving consumer engagement, conversion rates and operational productivity.
New opportunities arise
Covid has changed consumer behaviour when it comes to staying fit and buying sportswear, giving rise to 2 key behaviour shifts:
As gyms and public parks close, consumers are forced to stay at home, which drives
- Rapid adoption of virtual fitness classes
- Surge in demand for sportswear & fitness gear
As retailers gradually open stores, social distancing measures are a must, to ensure
- Safe shopping experience for consumers
- Safe working environment for store associates
Visual AI can help sportswear brands counter the covid impact
Visual AI enables a faster and more natural product discovery experience using a camera shot or an existing picture to search for a product.
ViSenze’s Visual Search delivers up to 6X higher conversion rate than traditional text-based search.
The technology enables solutions for end consumers as well as store associates to deliver a unique and safe shopping experience, both online and offline.
Capture consumers’ interest at home
As consumers adopt online fitness courses to workout at home, brands can enable Visual AI into their consumer app and tap into this growing opportunity:
- Show apparel and gear alongside curated fitness videos, using visual search and recommendations
- Let consumers take a photo of a workout video on TV and instantly find the similar item on your app, using visual search
- Curate UGC from top fitness influencer social handles to inspire consumers and let them purchase the entire look from you
- Personalise targeted communications or the in-app shopping experience by suggesting visually similar recommendations in the consumers’ size and fit
Learn how a global sportswear brand drove user engagement and conversions using visual search on their consumer app.
Get consumers back into your stores
Consumers will think twice before shopping in stores as it involves heavy interaction with store associates, sampling of display items with hands, and using trial rooms recently occupied by strangers.
Brands can deliver a touchless and safe shopping experience using Visual AI, while adhering to the safe distancing protocols:
- Let shoppers scan the display item using their smartphone camera with Visual Search and get real time stock availability in their size & fit
- Remove dependency on staff interaction, while delivering a faster shopping experience
- Empower store associates with real time product information by enabling Visual Search on their hand-held devices
- Upskill store associates to provide a more personalized service to consumers
See how a global sportswear brand boosted in-store revenue and consumer engagement with Visual Search.
In conclusion, Visual AI can help your business during and post covid
Covid may have put a dent in the retail landscape in 2020, but the industry will recover stronger than ever. This will be led by the shift in consumers’ shopping habits and adoption of innovative technologies such as Visual AI.
If your retail business has been impacted by Covid, Visual AI solutions can help you bounce back. Get in touch with us and we would be happy to work with you to boost consumer engagement, conversion rates, and operational productivity.