Posted By Simon Francis
Our two-part blog series on “smart” shopping trends continues with this analysis from Simon Francis on dressing-room innovation.
Delay mirrors, like this one from Comqi, record and plays back the last few seconds of your life, so you can check your look from behind
Now and then you come across an idea that really makes you take your hat off to the instigators’ ingenuity. This happened to me on a recent shopping expedition whilst looking for a new pair of jeans.
After locating the pair I wanted, I headed off to the changing-room area. The rooms were great, in a cool industrial theme, very stylish, lots of space…altogether nice. After putting on the jeans, I ventured out of the changing room and headed towards a large mirror nearby.
They say you can depend on two things in life: death and taxes. I believe there is a third thing that comes into play for all the non-vampires among us: You should be able to see your reflection in a mirror. So it is very disconcerting when you don’t.
After 15 seconds of waving my arms around looking hard at an apparently faulty mirror (who ever heard of a mirror that doesn’t work?), something magical happened: The “mirror” jumped into life and played back the last 15 seconds of my life. No, it wasn’t something from “Back to the Future”–it was in fact a video kiosk on a delay loop. It took another 15 seconds for this the “ah ha” moment to sink in.
How fantastic to provide a kiosk solution that not only increases the “theater of retail,” but also provides a way for customers to check “Does my bum look big in this?” As a customer, I have raved about this experience. And yes, I bought the jeans, and I will go back.
I am constantly amazed by the great new experiences that technology can bring to the shopping experience—augmented-reality changing rooms, in-changing room devices, browse-able online in-store kiosks—the list goes on. Intelligent systems are truly reinventing retail. But the device I always feel sorry for is the orphan kiosk. This poor soul often exists in a cold, dark backwater of the store, generally towards the rear next to the fire exit, alone and unloved. Stores are sometimes unable or unwilling to place them at the front of the store, but that’s where these devices—designed to improve the shopping experience, improve store processes and increase conversion rates—truly belong. They not only add so much to the shopping experience but also feed back great customer-behavior information for business analytics.
By reading my entries on this blog you probably get the impression that I am a shopaholic…but I call this “research.” You can read more about some great intelligent systems solutions that enhance the retail experience here, and I’ll have more for you on this blog in the near future.