Alibaba’s New AI Stylist Reshapes Fashion Retail

Alibaba is no stranger to retail innovation. The Chinese company, after all, is one of the highest grossing e-commerce retailers in the world and behind new happenings like the prominent shopping holiday Single’s Day. This July, however, Alibaba propelled retail in a surprising direction: Artificial Intelligence.

Alibaba has released what it calls an “AI stylist,” installed as part of a concept store in collaboration with American clothing brand Guess. From July 5-7 at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, passersby were free to roam the collection and, of course, seek recommendations on their garments from the digital stylist.

The AI boasts a set of cutting-edge features, most notably a “smart mirror,” a virtual shopping cart, and of course, intelligent style recommendations. With compatible product tags attached to store merchandise, the smart mirror is capable of recognizing an item — including its color and size — and displaying these details on an accompanying screen. The virtual shopping cart, on the other hand, enables shoppers to select merchandise and seamlessly add it to a virtual shopping cart, eliminating the need to physically carry items around the store. The AI stylist even offers recommendations to shoppers based on items that shoppers have previously picked up or bought.

This intelligent fashion stylist has two main implications for shoppers, as well as Alibaba.

First, it enables a seamless shopper experience. By allowing users to pick up and purchase clothing with ease, the technology deconstructs purchasing barriers, which seemed insurmountable with existing technology. And with its intelligent recommendations, the AI is able to trigger further purchases.

But secondly, and perhaps most strikingly, is its sociological impact on the activity of shopping. If this technology can “cross the chasm” of adoption, shopping might no longer remain a social activity, but one performed just as easily alone.

Contributed by:William Murray, Integer Singapore

Image Source: Alizila