A new meaning to window shopping
By Mike Cavers, Lateral Group
We’ve all been there, trying something on in store, asking friends what they think and taking photos to show off our latest purchase. Now Adidas has taken this experience one step further as the latest big brand that has adapted its stores to tap into the opportunities offered by the ‘smartphone generation’.
Following Burberry’s till-less flagship store and the Sainsbury’s app that allows customers to shop using QR codes, Adidas’ store in the German city of Nuremberg is experimenting with an interactive storefront that allows customers to drag and drop items onto a virtual mannequin as well as make purchases directly from their smartphones.
Users can virtually place clothes onto the storefront mannequins and ask friends what they think, even sharing their purchases on social media. By enabling shoppers to interact with the brand in a fun and interesting way, Adidas shows how well it understands its core audience, which forms part of the 62 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds who own a smartphone (GO-Globe.com study). This age group is also most likely to want to show off their latest trendy buys, so for Adidas to bring this opportunity to them through an interactive experience is a clever and timely move.
The innovative interaction element also offers Adidas a new and exciting way to collect data and measure consumer habits (should the customer choose to buy from their phone). By using this data effectively, it will be able to give customers a more personalised service, targeting them with relevant, customised and up-to-date information, offers and news.
Even better, for those that are questioning the security, there is no need to worry because the digital wizardry will give each customer a one-time PIN to check out their chosen items or to share with friends over social media.
The idea has the ‘wow’ factor and will certainly appeal to those budding stylists looking to showcase their fashion taste with friends on social media. Furthermore, with the proliferation of smartphones and the huge advances of real-time digital technology, brands are able to give people engaging shopping interactions that reach beyond the traditional, especially at a time where customers are seeking innovation in-store just as much as they are online.
In this instance Adidas needs to deliver a coherent message both in physical stores and online. The clothes exhibited in the interactive window need to be in plentiful supply and available for purchase both online and in-store to ensure the traditionalists amongst us don’t miss out.
Even when considering tech-savvy customers, Adidas needs to remember shoppers may decide to experiment with part of the retail experience but actually complete the purchase in-store or on their computer at a later time. Therefore, it’s crucial that retailers use the same information about merchandise, consumers, deals and pricing across all communication channels. Disparate information at best can lead to a confused brand message; at worst, it can frustrate customers or even alienate them from the brand.
The most important thing retailers can do is ensure they meet customers’ expectations of a shopping experience. Some consumers may prefer going out to the shops with their friends and make purchases the traditional way, whereas others may be happier with a digital journey. Only by creating a continuous and seamless shopping experience can companies hope to boost their customer base. When it comes to the customers themselves, Adidas would have to make sure they don’t get too carried away and start stripping off to try on their favourites, especially with those cold German winters on the way!