Monthly Retail Round-Up - June 2018

Some of the best articles from the world of retail and its supporting industries.

Monthly Retail Round-Up - June 2018

With lots of retail news to keep up with, Dressipi brings you the most exciting stories from June.

1) H&M Group Unveil Tech Developments to Rival Zara

New technology is constantly transforming the retail industry, with Zara rolling out their futuristic store in May. Fast fashion retailer H&M is merging the digital and physical by launching cutting edge technology to create new and exciting shopping experiences that rival their main competitor, Zara. A couple of the few new features H&M has launched this month include:

  • Voice Interactive Mirrors

Essential Retail reported that through an interactive mirror, customers can “speak their demands to a screen and get their picture taken in the form of a magazine cover before a QR code scan gives them access to the image on their smartphones”. The mirror can also give fashion inspiration which provides “outfit suggestions which the customer can choose to buy right away through the H&M website”. Furthermore, customers who have engaged with the mirror are offered money off their next purchase.

  • Human Holograms in Augmented Reality

Mimicking Zara’s launch of their AR models, The Financial reported that, “The H&M group brand Monki has partnered up with HoloMe to explore a unique creation of high definition human holograms in augmented reality”. According to the H&M Group, “Images of nine selected Monki outfits are enhanced with digital effects, allowing the viewer to monitor the garments in great details and experience the holograms as being present in the room”. The 3D garments can be accessible and shown through any smart device.

Reported in The Financial Elin Frendberg, H&M group Business Development highlighted, “At H&M group we constantly work on innovations that create extraordinary customer experiences.” This news came as H&M reported a 2% lift in sales (Drapers). Time will tell whether these tech advances could help them increase their sales even further in the future.

2) Harvey Nichols Collaboration with Hero

High street retailers aren’t the only ones trying to bridge online and offline to create seamless shopping experiences. Luxury retailer Harvey Nichols announced a collaboration with the retail technology company, Hero. The Drum reported:

  • “Harvey Nichols leverage Hero’s live shopping capabilities to let online consumers connect with in-store stylists in Harvey Nics’ seven stores.”

  • Hero will enable shoppers to access a platform called Black Book. “Customers who opt into Black Book can stay connected with their preferred stylist, in-store and online. When they’re signed up to this service, they can also discover product offerings and recommendations.”

Instead of queries going to the customer service team, customers will speak through messaging, photo sharing and live video streaming with actual stylists based at Harvey Nichols. As reported in The Industry Fashion, Harvey Nichols wants to offer their online customers the same level of luxury, personalised service that they would expect at their stores.

3) Westfield London’s Technology Plans

In March, Westfield London opened its new expansion. Anchored by John Lewis, other retailers including Boden, Primark and H&M opened new and improved stores, centred around customer experience and new technology. This June, Fashion United reported that marking their 10 year anniversary, Westfield has unveiled a new concept named ‘Destination 2028’.

Destination 2028 will include features such as:

  • Eye scanners recalling information on entry on a visitor’s former purchases and recommendations for personalised fast-lanes

  • Magic mirrors and smart changing rooms will give shoppers a virtual reflection of themselves wearing new garments

  • Delivery drones flying over walkways, delivering purchases to shoppers

Myf Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer, Westfield UK and Europe highlighted (Fashion United), “We’ll continue to work closely with brands to deliver innovative retail spaces that create the ideal environment for them and our visitors – including developing technologies that converge digital and physical shopping to enhance that Extra-perience in state-of-the-art surroundings.”

4) ASOS Partnering with Tech Start-Ups

In March, ASOS partnered with Israeli fashion startup Zeekit Online Shopping Ltd to launch a new AR feature on their site which included a range of models of different sizes and body shapes. This June, ASOS has collaborated with another Israeli company Re:Tech, an innovation hub that looks to connect with new technology companies. CalcalistTech reported that “Re:Tech is a retail-oriented hub that aims to connect startups developing e-commerce, adtech, fintech, and fashion-related technologies with interested companies.”

Essential Retail explained, “Businesses invited to apply include those focused on solving key challenges for online retailers, such as enhancing user experience, optimising conversion and saving costs.”

In a statement reported in CalcalistTech, Cliff Cohen, Chief Information Officer, Asos expressed, “Israel is renowned for its cutting-edge tech startups, many of which are developing solutions across retail, fashion and e-commerce. With Re:Tech’s help, we’ll be able to plug into this thinking to solve challenges and potentially foster long-term partnerships.”

We hope you enjoyed the round-up. Please feel free to get in touch with any stories you feel would be of interest.

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