Despite the rise of e-Commerce, many consumers still prefer the touch-and-feel experience of the brick-and-mortar store. However, best-in-class retailers are striving to create a more compelling and innovative in-store experience by integrating cutting-edge technology in their locations.
Neiman Marcus has partnered with MemoMi to roll out the MemoryMirror in its Walnut Creek, Calif. store. The MemoryMirror is designed to take images and video of all clothing and accessories the customer tries on, allowing them to capture a 360-view of all outfits and compare options side-by-side. By developing their own accounts, shoppers can store images of all outfits and access them at a later time via their mobile devices. Consumers also can share images through email and social media.
MemoryMirror touts a large interactive screen that serves as the mirror and a tablet-sized touchscreen that the shopper can use to navigate the experience. After recording the session, the software provides an option to share the session with a sales associate so they can recommend similar products for a future purchase.
The Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab (iLab), worked with MemoMi to conduct research on consumer behavior and develop the interface to create the best overall experience.
“As you can imagine, we get pitches every day on new technology, but if we think it’s a cool idea but not quite right for our customers, we tend to gravitate towards the opportunities that are able to be molded and refined to suit our needs,” said Mimi Sterling, VP of Corporate Communications and PR at Neiman Marcus. “The MemoryMirror in its pure state offers you different color options. You can be wearing a red dress and with the click of a button, it could change into a blue dress.”
Color changing options are not presently available on the MemoryMirror, as the company doesn’t want to display items visually if they’re not offered through the store or online. However, the enhancement may be added to the platform in the future, according to Sterling.
Neiman Marcus will expand the MemoryMirror software to its San Francisco location by the end of January, according to Sterling. In February, the retailer also will add two mirrors to its Willow Bend store in the Dallas, Tex. region.
“Because there’s one or two of them per store, they will be positioned in specific departments,” Sterling said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We’ve had people that were shopping in different departments come right over to the MemoryMirror, so it’s definitely been an attractive, exciting enhancement to the shopping experience. We’ve had women trying on dresses, we’ve had men trying on clothes and we’ve had people not trying on clothes who just want to see how it works.”
Bringing Innovation Into The Store
Since developing iLab, Neiman Marcus has been able to focus on developing innovative technologies to pilot in its stores and further enhance the brand experience.
For example, earlier this month, the retailer introduced interactive touch tables from T1Visions in the shoe departments in its Austin, Tex., Topanga, Calif., and Chicago stores. The tables feature 32-inch Ultra HD 4K touchscreens that include the T1Visions OneShop software application. With OneShop, consumers can use the touch tables to browse and filter Neiman Marcus in-store and e-Commerce inventory.
In October 2014, Neiman Marcus collaborated with visual search platform provider Slyce to release the “Snap, Find, Shop” shopping app, allowing consumers to snap an image of fashion items to receive similar products available on the Neiman Marcus e-Commerce site. One month later, the retailer implemented beacons in the Walnut Creek, Austin and San Antonio, Tex. locations to promote in-store events held throughout the holiday season.
“Innovation is something we’re always looking into at Neiman Marcus,” Sterling said. “These elements are improving and enhancing the customer’s experience. In essence, since the touch table and the MemoryMirror are both in their pilot phases, there are plenty of opportunities to surprise and delight our customers while bringing technology into the stores.”