Kmart Australia has launched its 2020 August Living campaign with an Australian-developed, industry leading innovation believed to be the first of its kind – the KBot.
The KBot uses Augmented Reality (AR) technology produced by VALIS to help Kmart customers see how the new hero products from the August Living range would look in their own environment, while conversational artificial intelligence (AI) powered by Oracle’s Digital Assistant provides information about product dimensions and features and recommends complementary products based on previously viewed products.. It can be accessed by shoppers via klabs.com.au on AR supported Apple or Android devices and operating systems.
With many Australians spending more time at home, there has been a growing demand in home improvement inspirations as Australians are making their home more comfortable for both work and living.
As part of Kmart’s accelerated commitment to its core strategy of creating a great place to shop that is simple to run whilst improving customer experiences; the brand continues to invest in their technology developments and data capabilities.
“The immersive AR and AI experience was designed to bring joy and inspiration to our customers’ lives, and with extra help from our AI chatbot personality – KBot assist – we have been able to make shopping easier for customers by sprinkling delight across the customer journey,” said Melissa Wong, Head of Digital, Kmart.
The experience was released to the market end of July and is already proving popular with customers.
One of the most impressive aspects of this project was the speed of delivery from ideation to implementation. The Kmart, Oracle and VALIS teams were supported by Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Platinum member, Magia Solutions, to deliver a working solution in just three weeks. Social distancing and lock-down restrictions meant that the majority of work on the project was done remotely using online collaboration tools.
“Our customer centric approach was pivotal in the way we collaborated with our valued partners when designing the mobile experience to maximise the technology enablers like Augmented Reality and AI. This has truly changed the way we engaged our customers,” said Wong.
Bringing Engagement With Augmented Reality
The AR component of the solution was designed by VALIS, one of Australia’s only dedicated AR agencies. VALIS specialises in combining creativity with technology to develop immersive AR, Virtual Reality, and Social AR experiences.
“AR is sometimes viewed as a gimmick, but this mindset causes brands to miss out on the opportunity to excite and engage their customers like never before,” said Luke Cameron, founder and CEO, VALIS. “Product based AR, when done well and made easily accessible, can strengthen consumer trust, provide a memorable interaction with a brand, and importantly – deliver ROI.”
“Working with a brand like Kmart is a dream. They are progressive, open to experimentation and really prioritise the experience they are providing their customer. To be the first retailer to bring a combined AR and AI experience to market really shows how much they have been listening to consumer trends and are willing to go that extra experimental step to deliver a really unique customer experience.”
Adding Value With Conversational Artificial Intelligence
The KBot solution integrates with Kmart’s existing Oracle Cloud CX digital marketing technology, enabling customers using KBot to quickly and easily sign-up to stay connected with the latest Kmart news and product announcements.
“Digital assistants, and artificial intelligence more broadly, have reached mainstream adoption and are providing new and exciting brand experiences to customers,” said Cherie Ryan, vice president and regional managing director, Australia and New Zealand, Oracle.
“The KBot is a truly innovative experience, seamlessly blending AI and AR to create an engagement that is both fun and functional. By integrating next-gen shopping with traditional channels such as email, Kmart is delivering futuristic engagement to customers with its brand while simultaneously driving demand for its product range.”
Innovation built on the latest technology
The native voice capability in the Oracle Digital Assistant converts speech to text ensuring greater accessibility for Kmart customers. It is an enterprise grade solution with out-of-the-box integration with Oracle Cloud CX, SCM, ERP and HCM products, and proven templates for 3rd party platforms.
VALIS used AR Quick Look as a frictionless way to let shoppers view 3D products in their environment at the tap of a button, removing the need for an app download. This produced product views with ambient lighting, and smooth, accurate tracking combined with a streamlined UX to guide and support users.
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