Designer Boutiques vs Online Shopping Experience. The Future of Retail Shopping is in a Digitally ‘Connected Store’
Tech-savvy fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff collaborated with eBay to open futuristic stores that are a mixture of a designer boutique with an online shop. Each store brings immersive digital technology by featuring an oversize screen, where customers can browse merchandise or request items in specific sizes to try on. The store will text shoppers when their fitting room is available. And inside the fitting room, a touch screen mirror can be used to request more items or ask for assistance.
While the stores are permanent, eBay has signed on for a one-year (minimum) partnership to bring its e-commerce prowess to Minkoff’s first stores, powering touch screen interactive displays and digital fitting rooms designed with her customers—omnichannel-savvy, sophisticated and fashion-forward shoppers—in mind.
According to eBay, each of the Minkoff stores features new tech features developed by eBay’s innovation team.
Through the Rebecca Minkoff mobile app, a shopper will be able to check-in to the store upon arrival which prompts their personal profile to be carried across Rebecca Minkoff store channels – helping store associates provide a more personal, customized experience.
A mirrored, physical manifestation of Rebecca Minkoff digital content. A shopper can select “send to my room” to initiate a 1:1 styling session.
A touch screen mirror recognizes items in the room, identifying other sizes and colors that are available in the store. If the shopper needs a different size, a simple touch of the mirror submits the request to a store associate. The ubiquity of mobile devices, and the fact that both shoppers and in-store associates have access to them, will also help the Connected Store engage shoppers.
The Rebecca Minkoff mobile app plays a vital role in the Connected Store, offering “Beautiful, streamlined e-commerce experiences; social integration; real-time shopping option updates that store associates can share with shoppers.”
Merchandise tags equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology track which items customers try on, and provide the store with a precise, real-time view of inventory. Meanwhile, employees use iPads to handle shoppers’ requests and check out from anywhere in the store. A sales person can help shoppers check out from the fitting room via PayPal or traditional pay methods. Shoppers can also enter a phone number and get a link to things they tried on, so they can buy later online.
Ebay has invested a large sum in this technology and Minkoff is betting their brand that customers will appreciate that kind of forward thinking. Other bold-name brands such as Walmart, Macy’s, Target, and Zara are believed to be experimenting with implementation of similar connected dressing room technology.
images courtesy of rebecca minkoff