• For decades, Hollywood used CGI on the silver screen as a practical solution to creating diverse settings and otherworldly characters. This same technology is helping marketers bring virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences to life, helping shoppers “try on” products ranging from cosmetics to furniture.

    Here are three ways retail marketing teams can add CGI to their creative quivers, providing people with unique opportunities to connect with brands:

    Personalizing Cosmetics and Beauty Shopping

    Have you ever wanted to see how a certain hairstyle would look on you, but you were too worried to take the plunge? This is where CGI can help you avoid haircut remorse.

    AR works when CGI objects are added to the real world in order to “trick” your eye and reveal an image right there in front of you. AR technology uses sound, video, graphics, and sensory inputs to simulate the sense of touch as well as GPS location data. So to try on a new hairstyle, AR could be applied in an app, as Sephora did, to show what you’d look like with that daring cut.

    Retailers that already incorporate AR in their retail marketing efforts are ahead of the game, as nearly 70% of consumers expect retailers to launch an AR app within the next six months. Despite customers’ wishes, almost two-thirds of companies don’t use AR at all.

    Creating Virtual Fitting Rooms

    Think you need to go hunting around a store or even go into one at all to see if a new shirt or pair of sneakers looks good on you? Think again. Retail brands can create futuristic shopping experiences by leveraging CGI technology for VR. For instance, fashion retailers are placing smart mirrors in fitting rooms that double as touch screens, allowing the shoppers to browse looks, colors, and sizes of virtual clothes, and swipe right on the ones they like. No more signalling awkwardly to a salesperson to find you another size while half-clothed in a dressing room!

    CGI is more than a fun new retail marketing experience to offer up—it can yield substantial ROI. By investing in CGI, retailers can reduce production costs by up to 50% and increase speed-to- market for a new product by as much as 30%, according to Myles Peacock, chief executive officer of CreativeDrive.

    For example, Converse’s “Shoe Sampler” app lets shoppers try on shoes by pointing their phone or tablet a their feet and purchase the shoes if the the shoe (virtually) fits. This VR-driven shopping experience gives people what they want—a quicker way to buy something they know looks good on them.

    Digitally Curating A Dream Home

    IKEA uses CGI to help customers envision how furniture will look in their home so they don’t have to lug a couch all the way to their living room to see if it matches. CGI is used in an increasing proportion of the images for IKEA’s catalogs, which helps consumers visualize what products would really look like in a home, like a tea kettle with CGI-created steam or water flowing out of a faucet. This saves time and resources because photographing real steam and water in a kitchen requires a fire warden on set and plumbing to be installed!

    CGI gives retail marketers the opportunity to create engaging and unforgettable experiences for shoppers. It also helps brands gain recognition as trendsetters and changemakers in a crowded marketplace. Plus, it’s really cool! The examples we’ve shared are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is possible with CGI—so start planning and get those creative juices flowing!

    Is your brand experimenting with CGI in retail or other industries? Tweet us at @RampUp to share your experiences and ideas!

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