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How is digital going to change our experience in retail stores?

Digital_retail_stores_intelligent mirrors_Agnès Mantel
Written by Agnès MANTEL

Traditional shopping is in transition: virtual reality applications, Ipad for sales persons, virtual fitting rooms, etc. Currently, the new trend is to have high-tech equipment in stores to better answer customers’ needs. People under 35 years old buy more online but they still like in-store physical experience. That’s why it’s important today for brands to think online and offline together in one 360° strategy. This will improve the customer experience. This experience is called “Phygital”, a fusion between “physical” and “digital”. It’s a marketing term used when a brand brings digital in store in order to create a homogeneous experience with the customer (for example with an Intelligent Mirror). The goal is to attract new consumers and develop the business strategy.

What is an Intelligent Mirror?

Intelligent mirror-retail-stores-digital-agnes mantel

A smart mirror is an high-tech mirror which works with virtual reality. People can look at their reflexion in the mirror and interact with the digital touch screen. This mirror works with other technologies like RFID for example: Radio Frequency Identification. It’s a technology put on store products that allows the company to identify the product, to see its journey in the shop and even know the stock levels on this reference.

The case of luxury brands:

Ralph Lauren

In its New York Flagship the brand has decided to install intelligent mirrors, created by a retail tech company, Oak Labs. Mirrors are able to recognize clothes consumers bring in the fitting room and to display them on the digital screen.

The mirror can offer other sizes and colors of the product. Also, additional clothes are recommended to wear with the product to have the perfect outfit. These screens can also display the stock and the exact place in the shop where the product can be found. Furthermore, sales persons have a tablet and consumers can directly click on the digital screen to call one. This new technology is totally changing our traditional in-store experience. Plus, for the moment, between November 2015 and April 2016, the brand has generated with these smart mirrors an engagement rate of 90%.

Watch this video to see in images how does it really works in Ralph Lauren’s fitting rooms. The Oak labs CEO and founder, Healey Cypher, presented it.

Rebeca Minkoff

This luxury brand in New York has also decided to use this new technology in order to offer the best luxurious and customised services. They put an interactive screen at the entry of the shop, which displays the collections, consumers can order a tea or coffee and also virtually try outfits. If they decide to really try clothes they just have to validate their shopping bag. This selection is automatically sent to sales persons who will have to collect clothes and prepare the fitting room. At the end, consumers can pay from the fitting / waiting room on their comfortable chair. People are more likely to buy if the service is customised and fast. The brand told that they have multiplied by three the excepted level of sales, in less than one year.

Other functionalities of the Intelligent Mirror:

  • Possibility to change the light of the fitting room to see you in different hours of the day: nightclub, day, evening, etc.
  • Call a stylist to receive advice or suggestions to complete the outfit
  • Record option: creation of little videos of the consumer trying the outfit. Possibility to share it on social networks or send it on your phone. This is an important point, because mostly everyone asks advices to friends or family before buying clothes. Furthermore, for a brand, succeed in making the consumer sharing its content is one of the goal of social networks strategy.
  • No need to try all the colors of clothes to see which one fits you better, with this intelligent mirror, you can see you in moves wearing the outfit in all colors. Watch this video to see concretely this last point (min 00:39).

  • Availability to save your selection and then order at home on the website.

To conclude, what does it bring to companies?

First of all, these connected fitting rooms improve the customer experience in-store (personalization, speed of purchase, interactivity, etc). It also permits to the brand to place product she wants. At a logistics level, it helps the shop to better know its stock and to avoid consumers always asking if they have one item. This information is given to the client. Moreover, the brand can collect data on the consumer (phone number, social networks, purchases,…) but mostly on the products. In fact, companies with this technology are able to know exactly the conversion rate on each item; the time consumers spent trying it, etc. All these stats are really important for the company to improve its offer.

To conclude, the future is to integrate high-tech equipment in store, it’s one of the new growth lever. Few brands, mostly in cosmetics (Sephora’s Flagship for example), have already a digital screen in store in order to look products or connect to a personal interface. Watch this video (min 00:20) :

If you want to go further:

The gamification is a new digital trend that is mostly used by brands with virtual reality. You can read my previous article on it here: How gamification can contribute to customer loyalty to digital?

About the author



International Digital Marketing Junior at Clarins Group.
Graduated from Ipag Business School (M2 Digital Marketing and Communication), Currently student from GEM (MS Digital Business Strategy).
Previously Web & Mobile Project Manager Assistant at Zadig & Voltaire (1 year).
Have a look at my Linkedin profile !