Thursday, 2 June 2011


Where is the Retail business going?

How far can technology takes us?This is my point of view about how we can move forward in the retailing experience.

We have to consider our current search for technology and the ways we want to make our lives easier through the use of technology and internet.
Online shopping is already segmented as a successful business and I believe it came to stay, for good! That is why I think that a possible way to grow even more in this market is through the “growing sensation” that are the Apps for phones.
There is one in particular that I spotted from a art director’s student work, called
Petra Muda, she worked at Wieden+Kennedy, an amazing Ad agency in London (very focused on new technologies), her project is hypothetical but very real for the near future.
Her idea is to use e-bay's website to created a new way of shopping, it's a service called Find it. In her own words: "When, for example, walking down the street and coming across something you like, take a photo and send it to Find it. In return you'll get a message with the best match on eBay". I think is simple but completely practical and i am sure people would use it often. This is just a way to improve the street fashion research, nowadays street fashion is sometimes creates more of a consumption desire than celebrities on a magazine.

Here is the demonstration video for you to see how it works.

Find it by eBay from Petra Muda on Vimeo.

Another great idea that Petra had for online shopping is for H&M called "Fashion Tag". It's a plug-in that lets you tag your H&M clothing in any photo or video therefore before buying a certain piece at the online store you can search for a tagged photo of someone wearing that piece so you can see how it looks like when worn. You can look for different kinds of people and how the same piece looks in different skin tones, body shapes, etc...

 Here is the video:

H&M Fashion Tag from Petra Muda on Vimeo.

 Following that same way of thinking there is a new website called Fashism where people can take photos of them selves post it and ask for suggestions, have feedback on their clothes or the pieces that they want to buy. Is a new way of creating a social media for Fashion!

Now, for High Street Retailing I believe the best way to improve the costumer's experience inside a store (which i think it won't end because of online shopping, people like to go out and shop, have all that experience of trying on, mainly woman, it's a pleasure time for us) is to make as easy as possible for the costumer to know exactly what he is buying.
Diesel is starting to develop some "magic mirrors" and for now they installed them in 3 stores, NY, Milan and Madrid. I have been at the Diesel Milan and tried  myself, is a new and fun experience.
The main idea is to have this mirror that films you and in a very delayed motion make you see 360° the outfit you are trying on, you just turn you back, than turn again and you see in front of you an image of your back, so you can actually see how the clothes look like in all angles!

Another version of the magic mirror can be seen in Ginza, Japan, is an interactive mirror with touch screen technology, where the salesman takes photos of all your angles while you are trying the jeans and you can see all the angles together in the screen or also individually.
You can also compare which of the jeans you tried on looks the best putting the photos next to one another.

Here is a video showing how it works:

Even if technology keeps rising and some people fear that the actual physical contact between people while shopping will disappear, I think that there is always a balance between things. To move forward we also need to balance it out with a little bit of the past and there is always someone that wants to be go back in time and reconnect with the history.
There is no better way that express extreme luxury than to have extremely special treatment therefore, for the High End Retail business, I think Couture brand will always have that Maison ambiance, the ultimate luxury is to be able to have you own private fashion show where you can see the clothes for very close, touch them, see models move on them, drink tea and eat pastries while doing it.
There is a movie, with Marylin Monroe, called "How to marry a millionaire" where she and 2 other friends are models for a Maison and you can see it work in the 50's. 

The only thing is would change is that today this private show would have a more modern appeal, looking like the models are part of an art exhibition.

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