VERA is a digital personal shopping assistant from Piktorlabs being launched at the NRF 2019, the US National Retail Federation’s show in New York.

VERA gives shoppers recommendations of matching clothing inspired by current fashion trends and helps shoppers on e-commerce, mobile apps and on desktops.

She also works in fitting rooms and self-service counters in-store.

Machine learning for fashionistas

The machine learning algorithms behind VERA identify customer choices in clothing and give outfit recommendations.

The recommendations are based on trending styles on social media and product availability in-store or online.

The idea is for VERA to inspire shoppers to explore their options, and shoppers can check product availability in a store, request a fitting or order online for home delivery, or just share inspiration on social media.

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And from the retailers’ perspective, VERA gives real-time insight into a shopper’s preferences, and into trending brands and popular products.

The data retailers gain is segmented by store, location and timeline and can help them make decisions about customer experience strategy and operations.

Shoppers are excited about “seamless blending” between the digital and store experience

“VERA is the first product of its kind to successfully blend physical and digital experiences for retailers in a practical, meaningful way,” said Sreekumar Paramu, chief executive officer of Piktorlabs.

“We have been working on VERA in consultation with some of the world’s largest and most name-recognisable brands, which makes it a robust, mature, deployment-ready product.”

“In our user trials, we saw shoppers getting very excited about the continuous, seamless blending of the digital experience from their mobile phone with an in-store physical kiosk,” Ankit Shekhawat, the inventor and chief architect of VERA, said.

“VERA’s AI-powered fashion recommendations inspire shoppers and help retailers solve current pain points of successfully blending in-store and digital experiences, recapturing Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, and harnessing social media trends into the shopping experience.”

Enki the ASOS fashion-bot

The fashion internet store ASOS, which has 18 million active customers, launched its shopping guide Enki on Google Assistant in October 2018.

The deployment of the voice-assisted fashion-bot followed the launch of Enki across Facebook Messenger earlier in the year.

With one in two US consumers using voice tech and Google Assistant being used on more than 500 million devices worldwide, voice shopping is expected to be worth $40bn by 2022.