nails inc: Integrating technology into the consumer experience
In-store terminals are not necessarily new – in the past customers have been able to view products and sometimes order items via terminals physically located in the retail space. However, nails inc’s in-store terminal in Harvey Nichols goes above and beyond the standard terminal, creating something that helps it stand out from the retail crowd.
The nails inc retail experience is fashion and trend led. It’s all about customers exploring colour and effects, whether that’s through its range of special ‘mani’ and ‘pedi’ services or through the product range either online or in store. Therefore the brand’s innovative and trend-focused values need to be a reflection of how they position themselves online.
Its polishes are a distinct feature of its store environment design, and when we were asked to revamp its e-commerce website we wanted to bring the offline and online worlds closer together, using the new innovative tools ‘Couture’ and ‘Try it on.’ The ‘Try it on’ function allowed users to select a nail polish colour and see what it looked like when rendered on any of four different hand images. The ‘Couture’ feature allowed shoppers to create and name their own nail polish and gave them the opportunity to add a customised crystal or studded cap as well as a personalised label. Creating a great online ‘Couture’ experience also answered our primary objective of making nailsinc.com a female gifting destination.
Early on in the concept development stage we realised that these new site features would also work well as an in-store interactive app. nails inc liked the idea too, so spoke with Harvey Nichols about factoring in a touchscreen as part of the store’s upcoming refurbishment. Fortunately all parties were in agreement, and we were able to take the development forward.
The in-store terminal offers many of the same functionalities as the site. Once customers have experimented with the different skin tones, polish shades and personalised options, they can place and pay for their order on the spot and within 30 minutes they can pop over to the nails inc store where their polish will be ready and waiting for them. This was a retailing first in the UK – truly personalised physical products, in the hands of the buyer within a very short amount of time.
Customers are hard to impress in a time when technology is so popular, so brands need to think outside the box. With the nails inc touch screen, we designed a device that was fun and interactive for customers to use, added an additional level of convenience and really brought the use of technology in retail to life.
Helen McCall, account director at Tangent Snowball