Some people look over their shoulder all day long, expecting their privacy to be compromised. They refuse to engage in social media and see Alexa as a government plot to harvest their brains. Other folks embrace the new technology, looking for it to make life easier. It is to the second category of people that new retail is trying to appeal. The shopping trip is becoming more personal and more targeted every day. Gildshire took a tour of what’s happening in the new retail economy and came away with some impressions.
You and Your Store App Are a Team:
Retailer apps aid your in-store experience. Uniqlo’s slogan is “clothes made for all,” and their app gives out fashion advice, but it doesn’t stop there. It directs customers that are ready to stop shopping and start buying to Uniqlo stores with those in-stock products. But, Uniqlo is far from the only retailer to offer this kind of service. Clothing stores across the spectrum are hosting interactive shopping experiences as soon as you walk in the door.
Size and Gender Are No Longer Barriers:
Since the beginning of time, plus and larger sized women couldn’t shop at Nordstrom. Now, the iconic Seattle-based chain hangs plus-sized clothing in the main shopping concourses of the store. Just this year, Chanel put out a line of cosmetics for men.
It isn’t just for cars anymore. Office Max is inviting folks shopping for their products to use printers and fax machines, as well as some of its more tech-intensive products. in-store, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and Crafts conducts educational seminars in store. Student/customers take the classes on brand new showroom machines.
Cool Retailers Recycle:
Enjoy your landfill-busting one-time use straw, for now, Starbuckians. This year and next is the last call for the single-use straw. Toymaker Hasbro will recycle used toys for free. Perhaps public relations moves, but welcome baby steps nonetheless.
Bespoke is the Word of the Day:
Most people don’t have a personal tailor, but the interactive shopping experience is moving in that direction. Not only that, the methods they are using to find that something special just for you are amazing! Custom menswear outfit Eison Triple Thread’s design team presents product options online by asking some questions and noting the shopper’s Spotify playlist. Ivyrevel designs dresses based on the ZIP Code in which the customer lives.
Second-Hand is NOT a Dirty Word:
Banana Republic started selling gently used garments by certain manufacturers this year. So far, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Burberry are the only labels, but more are expected to be added. This is the Republic reacting to a shopping trend, as the market for resale apparel is $20 billion today and expected to be $40 billion by 2022.
Shopping is a Social Media Phenomenon for Certain Specialty Items:
Kylie Cosmetics, owned by the most entrepreneurially sound member of the Kardashians, sold a proprietary eyeshadow exclusively on the social media giant Snapchat. Instagram was the exclusive shopping portal for an Allbirds shoe line.
You Can Do Things Shopping Online That You Never Could Do Before:
Original Stitch debuted Bodygram, and with it creates personalized sizes with photo scans of customers’ bodies. The site claims 99% accuracy, but if it fails, the items are returnable, free of charge. Wayfair employs virtual reality that allows those shopping to see how furniture and decor will look in the home.
Finally, Even Your Printer is Smart:
The lowest-tech item in your workspace can reorder ink when the tank starts to run low. At least Hewlett-Packard has one that will do that very thing.
The new economy is a brave new world, however only the most forward-thinking companies will thrive. Gildshire believes these are some of the most promising companies and some of the most promising products.