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Fashion & Trends, Tech

Retail Shopping: The Digital, Physical and the Phygital

By Sofia Celeste 20 aprile 2017

MILAN, ITALY – "Would you like me to check if product is available on our online store?"

Augmented Retail. It's been coming for a long time.

With fewer in-store models and sizes, the traditional retail space has become more of a showroom, showcasing more bestsellers than full-range collections. Consumers are increasingly encouraged to make more sales transactions online, at times with the help of in-store sales clerks.

Taking this phenomenon a step further is Farfetch, an online retailer that serves as an e-commerce platform for boutiques around the globe. The London-based company unveiled its "Store of the Future" earlier this month.

The platform, as it is being referred to, will require customers to login as they enter the store, digital mirrors will allow users to pick and choose different sizes and colors in items that will be delivered directly to the dressing room and digitised clothing racks which record what products are being chosen for data purposes and also to help fill their clients' wish lists.

Still in beta form, Farfetch, which is currently mulling an IPO, will officially test the technology on Browns, a London based boutique it bought in 2015. Thom Browne will also test the technology in his New York flagship in the fall.

At the CNI Conference, Farfetched ceo Jose' Neves said that this sort of shopping can "be a positive force for fashion as it can be transformed in a very informative way”.

Until now, other players have heavily invested in creatively altering the store experience.

Italian e-commerce/department store LUISAVIAROMA recently told Forbes magazine that it will launch a project called LUISAVIAROMA CAPSULE. "It’s neither a store nor an e-commerce site, but a trunk show that transforms fashion into a social exchange. The program includes a series of services and events such as a fashion happy hour with the chance to see clothes and consult with a stylist before buying," LUISAVIAROMA ceo Andrea Panconesi said in the interview.

Meanwhile, big brands are focusing on enhancing the store experience by rendering their stores a place to hang out. Gucci outfitted its retail spaces with welcoming accents like velvet chairs, marble tables and a treasure trove of eye boggling jewels and accessories, while Burberry amped up its Regent Street space with Thomas's, a luxury dining cafe with traditional breakfast options and afternoon tea delights.

Other major players like Nike opened a new New York flagship store that was outfitted with an indoor basketball court and a mini soccer space -- in an attempt to establish the store as a place kick it -- purchases are contemplated in store but and more transactions are taking place online.

In a recent report, think-tank Euromonitor said that the focus going forward will be melding the digital and retail in one. The group dubbed this phenomenon the "Phygital" store experience.

"Phygital materialises in form of showroom style outlets as stores with no stock becomes the norm," Euromonitor said, noting that role of digital stores will increase, while the aim for many brands will be creating a more "experimental" space.

By 2020, experts expect that digital and physical luxury will be seamlessly intertwined. BNP Paribas in a recent note said that luxury brands will know virtually all of their clients by name and that they will soon contact 41 percent of their clients via email. “Digital execution will define success or failure for luxury brands,” the bank noted.

A similar report released by Bain & Company earlier this year, said that suggests 70 percent of luxury purchases are pre-contemplated online though physical stores will continue to play a major role and 75 percent of sales will still take place in a physical location by 2025.

 

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

MILAN, ITALY – "Would you like me to check if product is available on our online store?"

Augmented Retail. It's been coming for a long time.

With fewer in-store models and sizes, the traditional retail space has become more of a showroom, showcasing more bestsellers than full-range collections. Consumers are increasingly encouraged to make more sales transactions online, at times with the help of in-store sales clerks.

Taking this phenomenon a step further is Farfetch, an online retailer that serves as an e-commerce platform for boutiques around the globe. The London-based company unveiled its "Store of the Future" earlier this month.

The platform, as it is being referred to, will require customers to login as they enter the store, digital mirrors will allow users to pick and choose different sizes and colors in items that will be delivered directly to the dressing room and digitised clothing racks which record what products are being chosen for data purposes and also to help fill their clients' wish lists.

Still in beta form, Farfetch, which is currently mulling an IPO, will officially test the technology on Browns, a London based boutique it bought in 2015. Thom Browne will also test the technology in his New York flagship in the fall.

At the CNI Conference, Farfetched ceo Jose' Neves said that this sort of shopping can "be a positive force for fashion as it can be transformed in a very informative way”.

Until now, other players have heavily invested in creatively altering the store experience.

Italian e-commerce/department store LUISAVIAROMA recently told Forbes magazine that it will launch a project called LUISAVIAROMA CAPSULE. "It’s neither a store nor an e-commerce site, but a trunk show that transforms fashion into a social exchange. The program includes a series of services and events such as a fashion happy hour with the chance to see clothes and consult with a stylist before buying," LUISAVIAROMA ceo Andrea Panconesi said in the interview.

Meanwhile, big brands are focusing on enhancing the store experience by rendering their stores a place to hang out. Gucci outfitted its retail spaces with welcoming accents like velvet chairs, marble tables and a treasure trove of eye boggling jewels and accessories, while Burberry amped up its Regent Street space with Thomas's, a luxury dining cafe with traditional breakfast options and afternoon tea delights.

Other major players like Nike opened a new New York flagship store that was outfitted with an indoor basketball court and a mini soccer space -- in an attempt to establish the store as a place kick it -- purchases are contemplated in store but and more transactions are taking place online.

In a recent report, think-tank Euromonitor said that the focus going forward will be melding the digital and retail in one. The group dubbed this phenomenon the "Phygital" store experience.

"Phygital materialises in form of showroom style outlets as stores with no stock becomes the norm," Euromonitor said, noting that role of digital stores will increase, while the aim for many brands will be creating a more "experimental" space.

By 2020, experts expect that digital and physical luxury will be seamlessly intertwined. BNP Paribas in a recent note said that luxury brands will know virtually all of their clients by name and that they will soon contact 41 percent of their clients via email. “Digital execution will define success or failure for luxury brands,” the bank noted.

A similar report released by Bain & Company earlier this year, said that suggests 70 percent of luxury purchases are pre-contemplated online though physical stores will continue to play a major role and 75 percent of sales will still take place in a physical location by 2025.

 

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.