in store experience

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - NRF retail
Image source: NRF

Mobile payments were the hot topic of last year’s National Retail Federation Big Show. Although NFC was still a buzzword at this year’s event, other issues – like omni-channel retailing and the increased spending power of millennials – came into play. We’ve analysed some of the emerging trends.

Swapping Virtual Reality for Reality

With last year’s raft of news stories explaining that millennials are more interested in purchasing experiences than material objects, it has become paramount for retailers to keep their customers engaged. In an increasingly tech-driven retail landscape, GoInStore’s technology gives in-store salespeople the opportunity to speak to online shoppers in need of assistance.

An in-store salesperson can wear a pair of GoInStore glasses, created by Epson, to allow an online customer to see items from the salesperson’s point of view. This could be a game changer for companies selling high-ticket items like designer goods, or indeed any items that are best seen ‘in the flesh’ before purchasing.

Augmented Reality Provides a Solution for Time-Poor Retailers

Earlier this month, advisory firm Digi-Capital forecast augmented reality (AR) revenue to hit $120bn by 2020. Unsurprisingly then, the trend for AR-enabled technology continued to shine through at NRF.

During a panel on AR, James Ingram, CEO of production company Splashlight, spoke of its benefits for fashion retail, commenting: “You can’t compete without personalisation.” Splashlight works with Looklet, a clever piece of tech that allows e-tailers to shoot one image of a model and then virtually ‘change’ their clothes with the brand’s newest lines – a perfect solution for today’s fast fashion landscape, which usually requires retailers to constantly photograph new product.

Mobile Devices are More Important Than Ever

The results of a survey into consumers’ mobile shopping habits, commissioned by the Economist Intelligence Unit, were revealed at NRF. Findings showed 69% of respondents use either smartphones or desktops for shopping but, crucially, 81% of millennials claimed to primarily use their smartphones to make online purchases. So, as long as the spending power of millennials is on the rise, it would be wise for retailers to think hard about the capabilities of their mobile apps or sites.

Mobile devices could also shake things up on the shop floor. Diebold has created a new technology that allows consumers to use their mobiles to scan items they wish to purchase while shopping in-store. They can then pay for the goods by simply tapping their phone on a self-checkout unit, alleviating the need to queue.

Retailers Need Exceptional In-Store Experiences

As tech becomes more powerful and relevant to today’s retail landscape, this year’s NRF really drove home the fact that bricks-and-mortar retailers need to offer exceptional in-store experiences in order to survive.

One example of a brand getting it right is Burberry, which, for several years, has integrated its extensive e-tail offerings with its ‘offline’ retail experience. In-store, staff use iPads to showcase products and profile customers, while LED screens stream recent footage from the Burberry runway.

At the other end of the market, a great deal of high-street giant Zara’s success can be put down to its speedy supply chain. The Inditex Group brand adds new lines every fortnight – comparably faster than its competitors – encouraging shoppers to return. Robin Lewis, CEO of the Robin Report, told Retail Dive: “Consumers can’t wait to go to [a Zara] store to see the new lines… Zara’s visitation rate is 17 times a year vs 4 for traditional retailers because [customers] don’t want to miss the nuance of that. That is a form of experience.”

So, what is the store of the future? Join us at SXSW in March as we explore this topic and many more. See more details here.

Reported by Grace Howard

Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Nike 45 Grand
Image source: Nike 45 Grand, Soho

To promote its new advanced performance apparel range for women, Nike has opened an ultra tricked-out showroom and fitness studio in New York called 45 Grand – a reference to its SoHo address. All events and services are by personal appointment only, rendering it more covert club than sports shop.

Located in an overhauled former metal shop, the initiative is aimed at the city’s key influencers (press, celebrities, fashion/sportswear buyers and stylists) as well as the brand’s Nike Plus members. These ultra-fit consumers are highly engaged with its digital services, such as Nike+ Training Club, Fuel and running apps.

Designed by NY/London-based Rafael de Cardenas in collaboration with NY-based art director and fashion publicist Jen Brill, the minimal, club-like space offers a distinctly serious yet luxury take on fitness for women. Featuring lots of personalisation and try-before-you-buy experiences, a laboratory-style reception area and tiered seating/stage area surrounded by mirrors overlooking the gym signals a space that means business. Meanwhile, the soft, sci-fi styling of the private lounge on the mezzanine level – with pink banquettes, wooden herringbone flooring and hexagonal gold box tables – serves as a more relaxed meeting space.

Pushing the personal touch, guests are invited to have a gait analysis and to both preview and test the new products during a bespoke personalised training with a Nike coach (who also personalises their apps) – bringing remote digital concepts to life. Individualised welcome messages are displayed on digital panels on lockers, and guests can also join live expert classes.

Guest post Stylus.com by Katie Baron & Stefanie Dorfer

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“New Look has introduced a new click and collect option that enables customers to pick up their online orders from their local convenience stores. The multichannel fashion retailer has teamed up with CollectPlus to offer the new service, free to customers who spend £45 or more online. “

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  New Look
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“Here’s a surprising stat about ecommerce that may cause you to do a double take; 95% of all retail purchases worldwide are still made in-store. So much for the technological singularity ‘eh!”

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“In today’s landscape, where the blur between online and offline is the new normal for consumers, building a successful brick-and-mortar experience requires retailers to rethink how to make digital a core aspect of their physical stores. Mobile is the go-to technology to help bridge that gap. “

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