John Lewis, a leading U.K. retailer, is now piloting two Cisco StyleMe Virtual Fashion Mirrors at its flagship London department store on Oxford Street, providing customers with a virtual way to try on clothes. The mirrors were developed by the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), with partners C In-store, AITech, and The Team.
The 6- by 3-foot mirrors incorporate built-in cameras that capture shoppers’ body dimensions and positioning. Using artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and gesture-recognition technology, the mirrors then superimpose clothing items over customers’ on-screen images.
In effect, the mirrors become virtual changing rooms where customers can create complete outfits from more than 500 women’s-wear garments and accessories selected from johnlewis.com. This makes the shopping experience easier and more enjoyable by letting customers see how they look in new outfits without getting undressed.
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Tags: artificial intelligence, Cisco, clothes, clothing, gesture recognition, IBSG, John Lewis, shoppers, shopping, StyleMe, virtual, Virtual Fashion Mirror, virtual reality
Oh my, I hate crowds.
My daughter is 12 and thinks Black Friday is actually a holiday that follows Thanksgiving. The media has effectively gotten into her brain and she doesn’t even know why she wants to go shopping, but she knows she must. I keep telling her she doesn’t need a $50 VCR but she just doesn’t get it. I suppose I will take her and a friend to the mall and leave them there. There’s no way I am entering the abyss.
Then I will go home and do some real shopping.
My sister-in-law and I team up every year to work out who’s getting what for whom to make sure we get things people will like and to eliminate redundancies. Since I happen to be a big WebEx champion, we do it online.
We shop together using WebEx.
I know that makes me sound a little geeky, and maybe I am, but it’s so fun to surf the internet together and look at the same things at the same time. She had ideas, I have ideas. Sometimes we are sharing and often we are both finding things and then passing the ball back and forth to see each other’s discoveries.
While we shop, she can stop and talk to her toddler, we can both grab snacks and, maybe most importantly, we aren’t losing our minds in the crush of the crowd. It works well for us and I can imagine Read More »
Tags: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, family, free trial, shopping, together, WebEX
Thinking today about mobility – cell phones, smartphones, tablets – and where and when it’ll be changing the rules of retail.
Forrester made a solid case this June that it won’t be as a transaction tool. They – and eMarketer.com – expect M-commerce to be only 7% of total E-commerce revenue by 2016, which means M-com will total only 1% of retail merchandise purchase market.
Gartner made the case this May (echoed by Forrester) that it won’t be as an electronic wallet – at least not until 2015 and beyond. Despite the fact that some 40-50 NFC-enabled smart phones will be shipped this year, the complexities of collaboration between service providers, financial institutions, retailers, and standards bodies is rendering progress slow and tortuous. (To see a preview, rewind to the past decade’s EPC-RFID efforts.)
And yet: The future of the personal communication and computing is increasingly mobile, and that means retailers are looking at a potential opportunity.
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Tags: Cisco, m-commerce, mobile, mobility, retail, retailer, shopping
In the past, back to school shopping conjures images of moms, minivans and moving from store to store with shopping lists. Today’s back to school shopping trips for families are more of a logistics exercise with moms doing online research and checking on social media to find the best deals before they set foot in the first store.
This is backed by recent researching showing the rise of the “Connected Mom”.
In a recent article titled “Digital Moms Favor Informative Ads” by eMarket.com, based on research from the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement and Media Behavior Institute, survey shows that Gen X moms consumer more media on mobile than even television.
In Deloitte’s 2011 Back to School Survey, research shows that 64% of respondents with smart phones plan to use them for back-to-school, and 43% will download discounts, coupons and sales information. Social media is also playing a role with 35% of respondents using social networking sites to assist in shopping.
What is leading to this change and what is the implication for retailers? I talked to Laura Heller, contributor to Forbes.com retail blog Point of Purchase, who recently wrote about the back to school season.
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Tags: back to school, connected mom, Forbes, laura heller, retail, retailing, shopping
Recently my colleague Jon Stine, wrote on his blog In between the numbers – Big Changes for Stores about amount of retail square footage that is available today and the need for stores to evolve with changing consumer patterns.
This change is also reflected in shopping malls that needs to change to make the destination attractive to shoppers and for retail store operators. In a recent trip to the local shopping mall in San Bruno, California, I noticed how the retail shopping mall has changed in the last few years to adopt to the new shopping trends.
Some of the changes include:
- Mixture of services and store formats in the main mall aisles
- Use of vending machines to dispense higher end products such as cosmetics and electronics
- Integration of digital video inside the store and at the display window to draw traffic/interest
- Store exclusive offerings from personal appearances to store only merchandise that is not available online
- More services offering in the mall from child care to education and entertainment. Read More »
Tags: mall, retail, retailing, shopping