How brands are tailoring the shopping experience through tech

When it comes to shopping, consumers these days have an abundance of (verging on too much) choice. One way major retailers are differentiating themselves is through personalization, often informed by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Ahead, we take a look at how a few big brands are utilizing customer data to make the shopping experience better.


Later this year, Amazon is set to open its first brick-and-mortar clothing store – but this won’t be any ol’ traditional brick-and-mortar. In typical Amazon fashion, the space will be highly tech-enhanced, utilizing machine learning algorithms to offer up product recommendations tailored to shoppers’ preferences. But that’s not the only innovative way Amazon is using data to personalize the customer journey. The e-com behemoth has been quietly building out a bespoke clothing service, called Made for You, which uses 3D tech to create clothing designed for shoppers' exact body measurements. This month, they introduced a custom-made athletic t-shirt that can be customized in over 50 different ways, from color to neckline to sleeve length.


Walmart recently introduced a beta feature called “Choose My Model” that uses computer vision algorithms to give customers a more realistic virtual try-on experience. Shoppers on Walmart.com – as well as the retailer’s app – can choose between more than 50 models to find one who looks like them in terms of height, weight, shape, and skin tone to get an accurate idea of what an item might look like on them. Powering this technology is Zeekit, an AI clothing try-on startup that Walmart acquired last spring. Expect to see more of this across retailers, as at-home try-on technology takes hold.


Earlier this month, Macy’s completely revamped their digital strategy by rolling out a new kind of online experience that’s personalized based on customer buying history. The department store has been investing in consumer data for years now, and it’s paying off through its omnichannel experience called “Own Your Style,” wherein Macy’s will offer data-driven recommendations based on shopper preferences, as well as styling advice and curated trend inspiration. In an effort to provide a more custom experience IRL as well, Macy’s is training some of its store associates to double as personal stylists to offer one-on-one styling advice.