Avatars are increasingly taking center stage as retailers and brands look to improve their customer experience offerings and drive more engaging shopper interactions. While not necessarily a new technology, for years most of the backend engineering and tech underpinning avatars has been clunky with poor conversational capability and a lack of effective voice control. Swiss company Animatico is looking to change that with its voice-enabled, human-like interface avatar platform. Taking cues from Disney’s popular character designs, where Animatico poached some of its team members, the company is hoping to power the next generation of avatar deployments and make the technology known as less of a gimmick and more of a valuable business tool.
Animatico’s face-to-face avatar CX solution automatically recognizes visitors in specific store or site areas, and encourages them to come over. Once the shopper has engaged with the specific avatar, which are playfully and approachably designed to look like 3D characters from a Pixar film, they are able to ask the digital representation for information including the fastest route to a destination; product recommendations, promotions, and information; and more. The interactive avatars can be customized by brands and retailers for a variety of bespoke purposes. Already, avatars from the company are employed by companies across a range of industries with applications like helping shoppers choose which wine to pair with a certain meal.
The Animatico line of avatars feature life-like characters with intuitive, AI-powered design and movements that respond organically to shoppers’ own movements and conversational and behavioral cues. The company’s avatar configurator allows clients to customize the appearance visuals of the avatar they choose, including elements like clothes, accessories and more. The avatars are proving to be effective in retail settings by increasing customer engagement and routing shoppers through stores effectively, as well as freeing up the front line staff traditionally assigned to these tasks and empowering them to focus on other roles, improving productivity and increasing workforce efficiency. Additionally, stores and brands can add gamification capabilities to the avatars and turn CX interactions into product-related fun and experiential moments. Once brands and retailers have created their avatar experiences on the Animatico platform, they can be deployed across almost any screen and visual system. The Animatico avatar toolkit also provides analytics for clients to better understand their customer base and effectively measure the success of the avatar deployment by providing business impact insights.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ research report, AI Enhanced Customer Service.