Retail Technology Revolutionizes the In-Store Experience

Technological advancements surround us. It seems like every day, some new gadget is introduced that challenges the status quo. One surprising avenue for these advancements is retail technology. An industry once fueled by person-to-person interaction, the retail landscape has changed immensely over the last decade — 51 percent of shopping is now done online, according to Fortune.

But what if you’re still looking for that tactile store experience, just with a touch of innovation? You’re in luck: High-end stores are increasingly providing the ultimate retail technology experience for shoppers.

The Challenge for Retail Stores

These days, it’s becoming important for retail stores to compete with digital alternatives — what can brick-and-mortar shops offer consumers that they can’t get online? Clearly, being able to physically try on clothes is a benefit of shopping in-store. But with so many fashion bloggers taking to Instagram to showcase the latest in fashion, seeing a real person with a similar body type wearing the same clothing makes it easier for consumers to click and shop without stepping foot in a retail outlet.

What’s a brand to do to entice shoppers to visit its storefront?

How Rebecca Minkoff Is Transforming Retail

In New York, the fashion capital of the U.S., designer Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with eBay to open a digitally connected storefront. Knowing how technologically savvy her clientele was becoming, she wanted to weave retail technology into the shopping experience. When a shopper is ready to try on clothes in the store, they’re directed to a unique fitting room that uses an interactive mirror to provide the ultimate experience. The customer can select additional items recommended by Minkoff, merging the benefits of in-store and online shopping.

Realizing mobile technology is at the forefront, Minkoff incorporated smartphone features that in-store shoppers can use. Simply enter your phone number in the system, grab a drink, and let an associate prepare your personalized fitting-room experience. When ready, a text alerts you to enter so you can begin trying on clothing. The interactive mirror allows you to interact with the associate for different items or sizes and even take Minkoff’s suggestions for which items pair well with the attire you’re trying on.

And finally, your interactive fitting room session can be saved for later — a clear step in the direction of online shopping (you know, saving items in your cart “for later,” otherwise known as saving them for a big sale).

Other Retailers Taking Note

While Rebecca Minkoff is at the forefront of technology with the in-store experience offered to consumers, there are a number of other retailers following suit. From retail giants like Walmart, Target and Macy’s to global fashion brands like Zara, the influence of technology on the shopping experience is expanding, and other companies will need to take action in order to stay relevant. So, shoppers, you have every right to start raising your expectations when you walk into a retail store.

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