This past spring, Cisco and John Lewis—the United Kingdom’s leading department store retailer—successfully completed their pilot of the Cisco StyleMe virtual fashion mirror. The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) ran the pilot, while partnering with C In-store and AITech.
During the six-week pilot (April and May), more than 1,000 customers tried StyleMe (an average of 40 a day)—far more than expected. In addition:
A staggering 34,000-plus garments were viewed in the outfit builder, and almost 2,500 garments were tried on virtually.
67 percent of customers gave the mirror a positive assessment, and some great shopper stories emerged—including one from a delighted disabled lady, who was able to try on clothes for the first time in a store, thanks to Cisco StyleMe.
The John Lewis Partners (staff) also loved it. They found that StyleMe was a tool that created shop floor “theater” (crowds formed) while helping them provide great service sell even more effectively. They came up with lots of ideas on how to develop the experience even further.
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.
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.
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 »
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.