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Smartphones are changing the ways consumers shop. There are apps. to help locate stores (Placecast), apps that send you vouchers and deals (Shopkick or WHERE Deal Alerts) and apps that scan the barcodes in supermarkets and department stores as you shop and add them up (Amazon’s Price Check, Walmart app.). Apps have been increasing speed and convenience for consumers, and help give marketers information, and the next frontier is fashion.
The Proximiant app. is positioning itself as a whole fashion experience on a fashionista’s phone; from runway to wardrobe, incorporating runway videos and their fashion shows/videos into the digital receipts when the shopper swipes the ‘touch & go’ device at the counter with their smartphone.
This technology has been taken up by prominent fashion retailers in New York, including Skechers, Diane von Furstenberg, French Connection, John Vavatos, US Polo and Derek Lam who have all jumped on the bandwagon this September. They have a sale and they can send notice to any phones in the areas with their digital receipt.
Shoppers already allow themselves to be tracked and profiled by their purchases online shopping and through social networking, not to mention unwittingly being tracked in malls on their mobiles by technology such as Footpath Technology System with the information going to marketing companies.
The rise and rise of the flash shopping sites demonstrates the success of social networking and fashion.Just Google, ‘Diane von Furstenberg’ and see the pages of online discounts that come up. These sites such a Net-a-porter and FAB don’t just sell, but encourage shoppers to ‘like’ their stuff on Facebook and pin their buys on Pinterest getting invaluable free publicity. Plus it appears to subscribers and online shoppers that they have exclusive deals and insider views (which is not necessarily the case, they just have the technology and know-how to get the word online before the retailer or brand does- up until now).
Proximiant aims to win back flash site shoppers for its designer clients. It uses test flash site concepts such as those used by MODA OPERANDI Shop designers’ sell collections straight from the runway, before they hit retail stores.
Proximiant is also pushing the returnable button in its marketing in a way that online clothing stores can’t. With Proximiant shoppers can put an alarm on their receipt to let you know the return date (this could be a great angle with shoppers who try on and buy more, knowing that they can be returned without hassle, but ending up keeping more).
For the moment Proximiant counter devices are just in New York and just selects stores, but anyone anywhere can download the app. and enjoy the runway videos now.
And while brick and mortar retailers join the cyber smartphone world to up sales, there is also traffic in the other direction. Last March PayPal confirmed that it’s taking on Square, a device that lets a merchant or individual accept credit cards through a cell phone. And this September Walmart is trying out a system that would allow shoppers to scan items using their iPhones and then pay at a self-checkout counter on their phone, physically shopping but paying in cyberspace.