International lingerie retailer Hunkemöller is an evolving omnichannel business that is constantly looking to integrate digital solutions, adding value at every level of the business. As part of our work with the company, we took the team on a ‘Retail Safari’, visiting leading retailers in London to explore how retailers are embracing technology and innovation in-store. These are some of the concepts and implementation challenges that we discovered…
Before we set off, we downloaded the Regent Street shopping app – good thinking, as it encouraged us to visit stores as we walked down the street. We found that the best customer experience is created when push notifications from stores are fun, inspiring, and have responsive display to fit a smartwatch. However, alerts after passing a store are essentially useless (like we’ve experienced). Let’s face it – would you turn back?
These days, differentiation comes in the form of personalisation. Topman, our first stop, had a great touch-screen customisable t-shirt bar. The touch screen definitely kept us fixated and in store for ages! How far would you go with personalisation though – is it just for the brave? We’re imagining a Bra Bar for women to create custom bras – a dream!
Go where your customers are – just like John Lewis has done with their Click & Collect stop at St. Pancras International – instead of relying on them coming to you.
It’s the little things that matter! Moving display converts better than any other medium – clever Louis Vuitton has created dynamic shelves, drawing in clients.
…and what doesn’t:
Burberry is widely recognised as a digital leader, especially in the luxury sector, but this wasn’t exactly the case when we visited. Whilst their Regent Street flagship is impressive upon entering, and with a lot of digital systems in place, our expectations were high. However, we left a bit deflated. There was a poor data capturing system in place at the till, asking us for our email but not our permission to opt-in to their newsletter. Only one in five of the garments we tried on the magic mirror worked, but isn’t the whole purpose of them to save time and virtually try things on? The technology is there but the glitches need to be smoothed out (if you’re going to invest in RFID screens, they need to work in order to be effective!). For a brand that necessitates exceptional service and experience, they have some gaps to fill. There’s huge room for expansion as well – this could be the perfect tool for digital styling and fit services, for example.
While the digital touch screen ordering at Argos was great concept, the screen size was just too small and two of the tables didn’t even work! They also need to get the balance right in terms of ambience – the store fit was so stripped back that it had an isolated and barren feeling.
All of this has us thinking – you need to consider the customer first when choosing retail tech.