RETAIL MAGIC – 5 FUTURISTIC TRENDS

How are you going to get your customers in-store and offline? With a little sprinkling of retail magic! [retail bytes] takes a look at the growing trends in 3D printing, try-before-you-buy and digital in-store innovations.

Kinematic masterpiece: Jessica Rosenkrantz of Nervous System isn’t your everyday fashion designer. A biologist and architect, she creates petal magic with 3D-printed dresses like Frank Gehry builds a bridge – wild and futuristically beautiful. A refreshing sight after the catwalks in Milan and Paris showed somewhat dated fashion! Jessica’s stunning Kinematic Petals dress will be shown from March 6th at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston’s #TechStyle exhibit, spelling the future of fashion. The completely customised red dress uses elements that are 3D-printed according to your body scan to create that perfect fit – a glimpse of future luxury fashion, perhaps? It’s worth a flight to Boston to check it out and order your own version.

Here comes the bride! Getting married is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (unless you’re a Hollywood star), so most bridal jewellery buyers are looking for exceptional, one-off pieces. An Etsy-retailing 3D-printing startup led by Kasia Wisniewski is offering bespoke 3D-printed, nature-inspired headpieces to treasure and pass down from generation to generation of future brides in your family. Bespoke jewellery was once reserved for royalty but today’s 3D tech magic offers low-cost creations so that every bride can be different. Add some 3D-printed lingerie and you’ll be a truly 21st century bride!

Ride free: Retail magic is all about creating delight in-store to shake punters out of their screen-trance stupor. What could be more fun than trying out Vans on a real skateboard pre-purchase? House of Vans has opened to great acclaim in London, including a try-before-you-buy initiative on a full-size skating ramp. So you can brush up on your 360° flips the store runs a Saturday Skateboard school, and also turns the shop into a concert venue in the evening – way to go!

Peace at last: For some customers, magic would be not having to talk to sales staff. Let’s face it – not every purchase requires an in-depth social exchange and (shock horror) eye contact. For those of the introvert affliction, there’s a solution in Vikden, a Swedish town. A grocery store there requires only that you download their app, which unlocks the door to the food shelves, selects items, scans products and packs your basket to go. Then once a month an invoice is sent to charge you for all the reindeer burgers you purchased on a whim.

Cashless conquest: The typical British (or northern European?) preference of avoiding human touch whilst shopping is also driving contactless card payments. No more handing your card to store assistants or fiddling with PIN numbers, as Europe is pressing way ahead on contactless payments. UK consumers spent £7.75 BILLION via contactless cards last year. 48% of contactless purchases happened in pubs and restaurants (huge surprise). If waving your card in the air and getting a beer in exchange isn’t magic, then we don’t know what is!

If you need some magic sprinkles on your e-commerce or omni-channel retail, get in touch with us by emailing hello@theretailpractice.com