Connected Stores: Who’s Nailing It Now

Connected Stores: Who’s Nailing It Now

Retailers have gotten the message that they need to up the technology ante in order for their stores to thrive. Customers want the best shopping experience, and it’s up to retailers to make their wishes come true. Nevermind online-only or offline-only sales: it’s all about marrying interactive technology to brick & mortar.

Way back in 2009, Apple implemented a mobile point-of-sale system in their retail stores. In our eyes, they set a precedent for the future of technology in physical stores. A lot has changed since then, and many fashion retailers have joined the digital conversation.

Combining the ease of online shopping with the experience of a physical store is the perfect solution for retailers looking to increase customer traffic and sales. While small handful have taken the full digital leap, many others are still playing catch up. Here’s a few that get big buzz, for a reason:

Who’s Nailing It Now

Zara, owned by Inditex, is arguably one of the most successful fast fashion retailers to ever do it. The pace at which their designs are produced, sent to stores and shipped for delivery is astonishing. It’s a shame that they haven’t made any major technology changes in their stores. Although employees are equipped with headsets and iPods to assist customers in finding sizes and styles, they should be doing much more. If their digital strategy matched their production strategy, they’d be ahead of the curve. Nonetheless, they’re working on catching up: the company will be implementing new technology that will allow them to restock sizes and styles faster, which will help them start to close that gap.

Zara’s Wins: 

Speed to market

Nimble production

Stylish + affordable selections

Rebecca Minkoff is one of the elite few to be doing so much more, and we love it! In the new Soho flagship store, shoppers can experience what it means to bring digital to brick and mortar. With a touch screen mirror that allows customers to browse a look book, reserve a dressing room and select a complimentary beverage, it’s clear that Rebecca Minkoff and her brother Uri Minkoff, the brand’s CEO, are right on track to stay ahead of the digital curve. Customers are alerted via text when their rooms are ready and are able to continue shopping from there, as each of the store’s items are recognized by dressing room mirrors.

Rebecca Minkoff’s Wins: 

Customer appreciation

Smart technology

Staying ahead of the curve

Connected Stores2

Burberry’s London flagship store ℅ Vogue UK.

Burberry’s London flagship store is quite impressive–and oft-cited.  With sophisticated multimedia technology that allows for marketing campaigns and runway shows to be played via their advanced audiovisual system, Burberry knows exactly what it takes to stay relevant in the digital age. We look forward to seeing more implementations.

Burberry’s Wins: 

Integrating physical with digital

Mobile commerce

Social media

Can retailers keep up? Who will be next to take the digital leap? In the next installment, we’ll explore what retailers can be doing to incorporate technology in their stores and how customers can help.

This is part 2 of 6 in a series about connected stores, written by Murielle Henriquez, who has joined Third Wave Fashion as a contributor. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables. You look nice today!