Yoox, one half of the Yoox Net-a-Porter group, announced today the launch of a new tool called YooxMirror that introduces several new functions to the brand’s iOS app, some of which are in line with other trends in the e-commerce industry while others are unique.
Yoox’s mobile app will now give customers a curated selection of products based around different themes each day, which can be swiped through, in the same way users scroll Instagram and Snapchat Stories. Customers can get personalized recommendations based on their interests and suggestions for products complementing styles they’re browsing.
What is more interesting is how these products can be viewed: The main part of YooxMirror is the ability to select a digital avatar upon whom customers can test out all sorts of combinations of products to see how they work together on a human figure. The customizable person — available in the form of a man or woman, with customizable skin tone and other features — has a name: Daisy.
The feature combines AI technology — something Yoox has dabbled with in the last few months, as seen, for example, in the November launch of an AI-powered private label, 8 by Yoox — with the visual aid and search functionalities that have become en vogue in recent months. With YooxMirror, AI works to make individual styles come together in a seamless look.
“We are very confident AI-based solutions will continue to play a vital role in Yoox,” said Giuseppe Tamola, global brand and marketing director at Yoox. “AI has proven to be an indispensable tool for us, assisting us in the successful launch of our private label 8 by Yoox in November and now with YooxMirror.”
YooxMirror takes previous AI efforts the retailer has taken and expands them outside of the behind-the-scenes role it plays in the creation of 8 by Yoox, to be consumer-facing.
Yoox’s confidence in AI as a tool for fashion and shopping is one shared by some of its contemporaries in luxury fashion. Brooks Brothers’ COO Gianluca Tanzi compared the relationship between fashion brands and AI to that of a pilot and co-pilot.
“It’s a fantastic bet right now,” Tanzi said. “[AI is] the best thing we can do.”
Yoox is aiming the new feature at its younger, more mobile-heavy users, banking on the idea that younger consumers are more open to using these sorts of digital tools for discovery and inspiration. These sorts of virtual try-on apps have been very successful in beauty with apps like YouCam giving customers the option to project different products onto their face digitally. YooxMirror works similarly. In addition to the pre-built avatar, Daisy, in a future update customers will be able to scan themselves into the app, which will create a similar model of the customer’s body and let them try on different clothes on their digital form.
The feature will also help further differentiate the discount site Yoox from its more prestigious sister Net-a-Porter. Since the two merged in 2015, the joint Yoox Net-a-Porter group has seen massive growth, with sales rising 31 percent in the first 12 months after the merger alone. The group does not break down its financial earnings between the two sites.
“Many of us turn to our phones whenever we need a solution to something, thus we hope that YooxMirror will be the first thing that customers turn to for everyday outfit inspiration and for those special occasions,’ Tamola said. “We are always looking for new ways to combine fashion with technology, AI is just one of the ways we do it at present, but we will continue to research and experiment.”