In the world of CX, the only constant is change. Customer priorities and demands are constantly changing, as are technology and the market. Successful companies continually innovate to stay ahead of the competition and provide excellent, relevant experiences to customers.
Here are 20 new examples of CX innovation in action:
1 . Prose automates fulfillment for personalized beauty products
Beauty brand Prose combines data-driven ultra-personalization and automated fulfillment technology to scale personalized products and reduce environmental waste. Unique profiles with 135 data points for each customer help Prose narrow down its 50 billion-plus product formulas. Prose’s automated fulfillment machine reprograms itself after each bottle to create more precise personalized products at scale without wasting plastic or product.
2 . Walmart lets shoppers choose a model who looks like them
In a big step for personalization, Walmart recently unveiled Choose My Model, which allows online shoppers to see clothes on a model that matches their body type and skin tone. The program currently has 50 models with plans to expand. When customers see clothes on someone who looks like them, they can make more confident purchases.
3 . Bollé customers try on sunglasses on Instagram
Using AR in Instagram, Bollé customers get the full experience of wearing the sunglasses—virtually. Customers can see themselves wearing a virtual version of the sunglasses and then flip the camera around to see what the world looks like with different types of lenses. The goal is to test the sunglasses in real-world environments rather than just trying them in a retail store.
4 . Super subscription service takes the stress out of home maintenance
Maintaining a home can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and expensive. Super aims to reduce that stress with on-call maintenance staff for a monthly subscription fee. In a similar vein to a building superintendent for renters, Super covers the cost and scheduling of hundreds of home maintenance and repair services. The subscription simplifies maintenance for customers, ensures they get high-quality service without having to vet individual providers, and can save them lots of money.
5 . Online shoe company Eobuwie creates shoe-free retail store
Polish-based footwear brand Eobuwie made a seemingly contradictory decision when it opened its first physical store: it didn’t put any shoes inside. Instead, the store is full of tables and tablets so that customers can pick the perfect shoes virtually. Once they’ve made a choice, employees quickly bring the corresponding shoes from the store’s 110,000-pair collection to try on. The digital-first strategy makes it easier for customers to browse and still try the physical shoe before purchasing.
6 . PepsiCo unveils touchless kiosks and vending machines
Pepsi customers can now get their favorite products without even touching a button. Using innovative UltraLeap haptic technology, customers control the menu by waving their hands in certain directions. The touchless experience is more hygienic for customers and allows for self-service without worrying about germs or faulty buttons.
7 . Taco Bell creates dedicated drive-thru lanes for mobile orders
Fast food is now faster with Taco Bell’s Go Mobile pickup lane. New stores have two drive-thru lanes—one for traditional ordering and a second only to pick up mobile or online orders. Some stores offer contactless pickup where the food is automatically delivered after users scan a unique code. The new design gets food to customers quickly and matches the shift towards online ordering. Along with the new drive-thru lanes, Taco Bell updated its kitchen for faster food assembly.
8 . 7-Eleven expands delivery to more than just buildings
7-Eleven customers can get food, beverages, and household items delivered within 30 minutes—no matter if they are at home or sitting on a park bench. The 7NOW Pins delivery service quickly brings items to parks, beaches, and entertainment venues. 7NOW also recently rolled out a subscription model that waives delivery fees for a monthly cost.
9 . Lush opens packaging-free “Naked” Stores
Lush has long been known for its transparency and environmental responsibility. But its “Naked” stores take things to the next level by leaving out one traditional element: plastic packaging. All Lush stores use the Lush Lens app to show ethically made products. When customers point their phone at any product, the app automatically displays its ingredients, directions for use, stories, and other important information so customers can feel comfortable making an eco-friendly decision.
10 . Walgreens personalizes AI-powered cooler doors
Walgreens replaced traditional cooler doors at some stores with AI-powered doors that sense what items have been purchased and provide real-time inventory updates to staff. The doors can also change their display and ads based on the time of day, weather, or a customer’s age or gender. The new technology improves the experience by ensuring customers can find what they want when they want it.
11 . Schindler Elevator Corp. uses contactless mobile app
Calling an elevator just got easier—and more sanitary. Schindler Elevator Corp. developed the ElevateMe app that connects with device-enabled elevators so users can call elevators and choose their destination without touching the panel buttons. Schindler can easily convert older elevators to be app-enabled for easier access.
12 . Clare simplifies paint buying
Choosing the right paint color can be a stressful decision for homeowners. But Clare aims to change that with a convenient and simple paint buying process. Customers can browse the designer-curated collection or answer a few simple questions in the Clare Color Genius for automated recommendations. Clare’s peel and stick paint samples make it easy to try various shades, and all paints and supplies are delivered directly to customers’ doors.
13 . Mountain Hardwear’s AR app tests outdoor gear virtually
Outdoor retailer Mountain Hardwear uses an AR-powered app for customers to test products like coats, tents, and backpacks virtually in their own space. Users can change colors and sizes of products, crawl inside a tent to see it from all angles, and test items in various environments like snow or sand. The app seamlessly directs customers to the website or store when they are ready to make an informed purchase.
14 . BevMo! simplifies whiskey recommendations with voice assistants
Selecting the right type of whiskey can be a daunting task, but beverage store BevMo! uses an AI-powered, voice-controlled device to personalize and simplify the shopping experience. The display and voice assistant sit in the whiskey aisle and asks customers questions about their whiskey preferences, the event they’re shopping for, and their budget before recommending three bottles. The device can also answer questions about whiskey and tell jokes.
15 . Modsy visualizes home remodels and design in 3D
Many customers struggle to visualize a new design or layout of their home as they decorate or remodel. But with 3D technology, Modsy customers can easily picture the new format of a room and quickly link to furniture and contractors. Customers walk through the space and collaborate with a designer on what they are looking for to get personalized design without the stress of the unknown or managing numerous pieces.
16 . Zara combines mobile and in-person shopping with app
Zara uses an app that combines in-person and digital shopping to provide a smooth experience no matter how customers browse the store. In person, customers can enter Store Mode on the app to find specific items, reserve fitting rooms, and check out quickly. Online, customers can limit their search to only items in stock at their nearest store to pick up in 30 minutes.
17 . NowRX automates same-hour prescription delivery
The traditional pharmacy model of waiting in line while sick is being disrupted by NowRX, a company that uses innovative technology and robotics to fill and deliver prescriptions in as little as one hour with no delivery fees. The tech-powered pharmacy operates micro-fulfillment centers and streamlined logistics planning to keep costs down for customers while providing top-tier speed and convenience.
18 . NH Hotel Group offers virtual tours before booking
Travelers can rest easily and see the entire room and hotel before booking a stay. NH Hotel Group provides 360-degree virtual tours online where users can virtually walk around the room and other parts of the property. The goal is to provide a strong feel of the hotel and help customers book confidently with no surprises when they arrive.
19 . John Deere uses AI to target weeds to spray
John Deere knows its customers are looking to increase their farming efficiency and reduce waste and environmental impact. Its AI-powered See and Spray technology uses computer vision to monitor and precisely spray weedicide on cotton plants. The technology reduces 80-90% of pesticide use, which lowers costs and improves farming productivity for customers while limiting the release of chemicals into the environment.
20 . Propeller Health adds smart sensors to asthma devices
Asthma patients now have more tools to manage their conditions and reduce doctor and emergency room visits. Propeller Health attaches sensors to patients’ existing inhalers that deliver insights on symptoms, triggers, and environmental factors to their phones. The sensors can help discover each patient’s unique triggers and reduce the impact of asthma and other breathing conditions. Patients can then share that information with their doctors to create effective treatment plans.