Technology: bringing brands to life on the high-street
Shopping on the high-street is no longer about the product – it’s about the experience. As a result, retailers are using increasingly sophisticated technology to deliver one that they hope you won’t forget.
We’re not just talking about mundane or functional tech like NFC (near-field communication), self-service scanners or QR codes – we’re talking about creating lasting impressions that bring brands to life and change what it means to visit the high-street.
We take a look at how established retailers are using technology, looking beyond the fads and PR stunts for credible examples of truly innovative shopping experiences.
Adidas – Delivering virtual assistance
Adidas are just one brand who’ve realised the benefits of using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology in their products to assist customers. Customers that take products into the changing room are greeted with a mirrored display which provides more information on what outfits work well with their potential purchase. Or, if they want to learn about the materials and design of their products, they can simply move their pair of trainers, or sweatpants in front of a designated screen in-store.
Kate Spade – Giving a new meaning to window shopping
Fashion brand Kate Spade gave a whole new meaning to the idea of window shopping by installing touch-screen storefronts at four pop-up locations across New York. The technology allowed customers to browse items via a touchscreen display and then make a purchase at any time of the day, straight from the sidewalk, with purchased items delivered within an hour, to their home!
Lego – Bringing products to life
Lego has implemented augmented-reality-powered kiosks and product boxes into their stores meaning customers can now scan a kit to show them exactly what the finished product will look like, in 3D. Look around any store and you’ll see hoards of excited kids and parents gathering around the kiosks, testing out the technology and making purchase decisions based on the experience. It’s a fun way to bring products to life and makes store visits more entertaining.
Spruce – managing in-store conversations with email
You don’t have to be a big retailer to use technology to its full potential. Spruce – a men’s styling consultancy, use email to manage their in-store interactions by alerting them to the customer’s personal preference before they walk through the door. Being a reservations based business, the staff receive an alert just before the appointment giving them all the information they need about their customer – from what they look like, their interests, previous purchases and even telling them whether they like to chat with store staff. This automated alert allows the consultant to prepare relevant outfits, brief the stylist on their personal preferences and tailor their approach to the customer from the moment they enter the store.
Burberry – Creating online experiences offline
When you step into the Burberry store you don’t step into a shop – you step into a sensorial experience that blurs the online experience with the high-street. Full-length screens wrap around their flagship store while hundreds of speakers stream live fashion shows to immerse the shopper into the world of haute-couture fashion. The store is designed to be the physical manifestation of burberry.com, replicating the virtual experience it gives customers online within its physical store.
So if you’re looking for ideas about where to place investment in your store estate, then these approaches are worth more than a casual glance. It’s technology that’s here to stay and will be changing customers’ in-store experience and the face of retail forever.