How are the lines between online and offline commerce blurring? Beginning today, eBay Inc. and Rebecca Minkoff are unveiling the future of retail through a Connected Store powered by eBay Inc. located in SoHo, New York City (96 Greene St.). Using eBay Inc. technology, this store showcases a digital and connected shopping experience that merges the online and physical shopping experience. The store provides a clear example of the intersection of ecommerce and technology in the retail space.
Following the first Connected Store in New York, others in San Francisco and Los Angeles will arrive on Nov. 19th and in 2015, respectively. The stores feature “connected walls” -- mirrored displays showing video and inspirational content that shoppers can touch to request associates to prepare fitting rooms and order drinks. Upon arrival in the stores, shoppers can use the Rebecca Minkoff iOS mobile app to discover shopping options built around their personal profiles (download in the Apple iTunes store).
“Connected fitting rooms” in the stores will transform the mirrors into an interactive surface to request other variations and cross-sells, and even change the lighting. The rooms use RFID to “magically” recognize all items in the room and identify other sizes and colors available in the store, and allow shoppers to take their entire “fitting room” with them via mobile. Shoppers can even change the lighting with a single touch of the mirror.
“How do you most efficiently use physical space to let people discover products?” said Steve Yankovich, Head of Innovation and New Ventures at eBay Inc. “Our retail innovation team is building out answers to that question by putting new concepts in front of consumers. These will lead to big, big changes in retail.”
“There are less and less mannequins you’ve seen in stores,” Yankovich added. “Displays, video and connected touch walls can make seeing what products look like in actual use much more engaging and true to life. Many surfaces and spaces in stores aren’t used efficiently. There are opportunities to help consumers have much more engaging shopping experiences.”
This shopping experience features new technology developed by eBay Inc. that is changing the future of retail. There are four easy steps for shoppers to take advantage of this experience:
- Check-in upon arrival: Through the Rebecca Minkoff mobile app, a shopper will be able to check-in to the store upon arrival which prompts their personal profile to be carried across Rebecca Minkoff store channels – helping store associates provide a more personal, customized experience.
- Browse the Connected Glass shopping wall: A mirrored, physical manifestation of Rebecca Minkoff digital content. A shopper can select “send to my room” to initiate a 1:1 styling session.
- Interactive fitting rooms: A touch screen mirror recognizes items in the room, identifying other sizes and colors that are available in the store. If the shopper needs a different size, a simple touch of the mirror submits the request to a store associate.
The ubiquity of mobile devices, and the fact that both shoppers and in-store associates have access to them, will also help the Connected Store engage shoppers. The Rebecca Minkoff mobile app offers:
- Beautiful, streamlined ecommerce experiences
- Social integration
- Real-time shopping option updates that store associates can share with shoppers
Evolution of the Fitting Room
“If you bring five things into a dressing room and they don’t work, you might be tempted to leave a store,” Yankovich noted. “But what if you could determine the availability of different colors or sizes and request them from associates while still in the dressing room? The Connected Store’s fitting rooms will make that possible through smart surfaces that can even suggest entire outfits to try.”
The shopper will even have the option to attach a fitting session to her Minkoff loyalty account so she can access her “fitting room sessions” in the app and online, in addition to allowing associates to see her purchase and fitting history on the associate app and make recommendations in the future.
“Can we turn a store into your store?” asked Yankovich. “eBay Inc. is building shopping experiences where consumers can notify a store that they are coming and the sales associates can have personalized choices available near a smart dressing room before they even arrive. These white glove experiences are going to entirely shift consumer experiences.”
Stay tuned for additional updates to the Rebecca Minkoff Connected Store experience. eBay Inc.’s retail innovation team will be delivering additional digital experiences this holiday season.