On Friday, fashion retailer Ralph Lauren unveiled a new flagship shop in L.A. that comes with an interactive handbag salon, allowing shoppers to personalize their handbag orders in colors, materials, and monograms. Each handbag in the store is tagged with an RFID chip that automatically carries over product specifications to a touchscreen when a customer brings a bag to the salon to start their customization.
What Retailers Should Do
By focusing on personalization and offering a seamless in-store experience, Ralph Lauren’s new store provides a great example of how retailers can modernize their retail experience and attract shoppers to visit. With more and more consumers choosing the convenience of online shopping over physical stores, brick-and-mortar retailers need to take the initiative in creating in-store experiences that provide added value for customers.
Source LA Times
In a bid to lure more customers into their stores, some retailers have been experimenting with new technologies to make their in-store experiences more fun and interactive. Ralph Lauren will soon start testing interactive fitting rooms at its Polo flagship store in New York City. Equipped with smart mirrors created by Oak Labs, these fitting rooms will be able to recognize the clothing items that shoppers brought in via RFID tags and display them on a large touchscreen. Shoppers can use it to request different sizes and colors of items to try on without leaving the fitting rooms.
Similarly, Sephora also added some interactivity to its new retail store in San Francisco. The new store features a “Beauty Workshop,” where customers can watch makeup tutorial videos, take a class with a Sephora sales member, and share their makeup results online. Sephora also set up a digital “Beauty Board” in store, which displays user-generated content from social media that coincides with current beauty trends on a shoppable screen.
What Retailers Need To Do
Studies show that millennial consumers value experiences over ownership, creating the so-called “experience economy” as a result. Brick-and-mortar retailers should tap into this consumer trend by offering unique in-store experiences in order to better compete with online retailers. In this regard, both Ralph Lauren and Sephora serve as good examples in incorporating digital technologies to create engaging in-store shopping experiences that ultimately drive in-store purchases.
Source: Engadget and Digiday
The future of New York Fashion Week will be live streamed. While approximately 100,000 people attended last September’s shows in person, 2.6 million live-streamed them instead. This year, the streams are going mobile, as Ralph Lauren announced it’s broadcasting its Collection show live on Periscope next week. Moreover, Rebecca Minkoff recently packaged its fall 2015 show into a virtual reality video with Jaunt, a California-based cinematic VR company, for an immersive viewing experience.
What Brands Should Do
Fashion shows are usually well-produced luxury experiences, and fashion brands would be missing out on the opportunity to reach a wider audience if they don’t take advantage of nascent media platforms and emerging technologies. Moreover, brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger have started to include buy buttons on their live streams that link to their online shops, turning the content streams into direct sales channels, something that more brands should explore.
With the help of Canadian tech firm Omsignal, Ralph Lauren has developed its first item of smart sportswear. Dubbed the “Polo Tech” shirt, it has built-in sensors that track the wearer’s heart rate and movement, with collected data synced with an iOS app. This is not the first time that wearable tech has teamed up with the fashion industry to normalize its still-novel products. And even though this shirt is currently in the prototype stage, it indicates a future where wearable tech is further integrated into sports and other realms of daily life.