Eva Pascoe | Digital Retailer

As analogue retail gives way, new hybrid ways of shopping are emerging. 

Bouncepad minimalism

Retail demise is upon us, stores closing in their thousands in US and UK.  Retail is dead, long live retail as from the ashes of old fashion stores full of stock, a new minimalistic store emerges. The Department Store is a great example of a clean and low key hub displaying a wonderfully curated selection of homewares. Some of the items are on physical display on minimalistic shelving, but most can be seen on a Bouncepad.

 tablet displayed on a graceful holder above the serving desk. Bouncepads can be used to browse on the tablet and order selection of items, for home delivery. Knowledgeable in-store staff is on point and on trend, advising on styling and recommending complimentary products. Hybrid of physical and digital shops works and we welcome our new trans-channel retail overlords. Kudos to London-based Bouncepad.com for showing the way for more eco-friendly retail – no more carting all the stock to center of cities only to be carted back to the warehouse at the end of the season. Eco-conscious shoppers will love it.

Now you see it now you don’t

Fragrance bottles are all the same to us, with size and labels not just uninformative, but frankly boring. Enter Jo Malone and her magic perfume cabinets.

You can pick up the perfume bottle from the shelf and watch how the back of the cabinet visually explodes with an Augumented Reality animation of the type of fragrance, flowers and colour related to the particular perfume bottle. Created by Perch Interactive, this interactive perfume display cabinet helps shoppers at a glance to experience in a multisensory way all the aspects of the new perfumes before they even take the first sniff. Magic display and easily the best in UK, putting a smile on shoppers faces and driving fragrant sales.

Drone will save us

Gatwick blockade by drones in the peak of holidays travel was probably not the best way to introduce the general public to the new and wonderful world of flying objects. However, Google intends to make us love drones again, with a new campaign to include drone photography for towns in Google. Visitors can click on the link and admire the view of participating towns from bird’s eye, then zoom down and click on retailer’s link on the drone-o-rama to see a walk thru the interiors of the store, bar or restaurant. 

 This may seem a somewhat unorthodox way of shopping but it is certainly informative where the store is in the context of the town, how to get there and what will you find inside once there. For shoppers, more info is always good for conversions so retail should pay attention and request their own walk thru shots.

Nice to see you to see you nice

If you spot a nice top on a girl on the train to work, often it feels creepy to ask her where she got it from. Visual Search comes to the rescue, as now we can take a photo (always ask permission!) of the garment, and wait for Syte tool to suggest where it comes from or where a similar can be found. How is it achieved? A combo of computer vision recognition and tagging. Fashion item’s photos are tagged with description like ‘linen’, ‘white’ , ‘wide sleeve’ so the crawler can find them not just by computer vision but also by ‘deep tags’ similar items. Visual Engine Optimisation is here just as retailers cracked semantic SEO. Never a dull moment with Google search challenges. Syte has raised 21 mln dollars so with their bulging war chest it is probably here to stay.

Hot Take: brush up on your “deep fashion tags” or stay ‘undiscovered’ and follow LK Bennett into oblivion.

Back to the future

Despite ubiquitous AR furniture apps on the market, buying new sofa is as hard as ever. Measuring up your space, measuring the sofas in the store, trying to figure out how to fit your dream armchair up the stairs etc it is all a bit of a ‘mare. IKEA’s Place app is the answer to your furnishing dreams. No need to schlep around the crowded store on the outskirts of your urban jungle. Just get the app, take a photo of the room, tap your  selected sofa or armchair from Ikea range and watch the app visualise it virtually and TO SIZE to where it needs to be in the room. Bingo. We had to switch over to ikea.com to complete the purchase, but it was simple. Delivery options were good value and convenient so we bought more furniture in an hour than over the last 5 years. Nearly as good as hunting Pokemons in churches and certainly far more useful. Go Ikea!

Shows to see this week:

Retailers bow to Uniqlo as Somerset House art-meets-newInDemo draws crowds from London Fashion Week

Great location and great timing from this ever inspiring Japanese brand.

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