NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE

In this week’s edition of [retail bytes] we take a look at the ways that technology is changing the face of watches, fashion magazines, and even your own.

Never lose your room key again – wear it! Telling you the time is just the beginning for the new multi-functional smart watches. Singapore hotel chain Starwood is launching its first Apple Watch hotel app, which will replace the key to your room as well as provide a loyalty card. This will save costs for the hotel, by cutting out the price of physical keys, but will also build an extremely precise database of your activity within the resort so they can offer you discounts on the services that you really want! They’ve included the more successful functions of the Disney Band, like the ability to swipe-and-pay for services during your stay. Will retail stores follow suit soon?

Fit and fancy With the launch of the Apple Watch, wearables are all the rage. Our vote for the winning combination of functionality and style goes to the Tory Burch Fitbit. The first batch sold out in less than three hours as Fitbit users, particularly women, are fed up with the petrol smell of the plastic. New styles will launch soon, getting us into beautiful summer shape in style.

 Not just a pretty face Soon Vogue will no longer be the magazine that you lazily flick through while you wait for an appointment. Next time you fancy one of the outfits on those glossy pages, just wave your phone over it and you can place an order immediately! Shop-by-scan will be the killer mobile app for Vogue’s first e-commerce venture with Style.com, putting them straight into competition with their own advertisers (I wonder what they think about that)! Let battle commence as Condé Nast takes on Yoox.com, newly merged with Net-A-Porter.

 Yet another breach of privacy Tracking customers in-store via mobile? Beware, as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has declared that if shoppers can’t see any in-store opt-out signs, or feel they have no control over being tracked, it breaks trust and privacy legislation. Fines will follow, as MAC tracking is firmly established as a data source that shoppers need to agree to before it can be used by a business.

Kill all passwords Would you be okay with PayPal having access to your body? As an increasing amount of our life moves online, having to create and remember a different password for every single online service has become harder and harder. Is it time to insert a contact lens, or swallow a chip, and be done with passwords?

And finally, we are so excited that London Fashion Week has chosen to follow The Retail Practice’s move to Soho and is setting up on Brewer Street for the September 2015 session. It’s the best decision ever – we loved Somerset House, but frankly it was not a hotbed of fashion ideas! Welcome to Soho!