I recently had the opportunity to get a sneak peek into a new pop-up in New York City, presented by Marie Claire magazine and Mastercard. The experience, called The Next Big Thing Concept Shop, brought to life a variety of unique technology innovations for retailers that can help brands merge the physical and digital shopping experience for their customers.
The stand-out experiences that are being showcased at the pop-up, which is open to the public until Oct. 12, 2017 include:
- A digital outdoor window display that lets consumers shop from outside the store;
- A smart fitting room mirror technology from Oak Labs that’s combined with the MasterCard Masterpass checkout service;
- A sunglass Memory Mirror for comparing different sunglass styles and social media sharing;
- A Neiman Marcus charging station that allows customers to charge their phones safely while shopping in a store;
- A Clarins Sensor Mirror Pro, a virtual skincare mirror developed by MemoMi.
Consumers may be attached to their phones and computers, and they may be doing a lot of pre-purchase research on these devices, but the physical store is not dead. In fact, MasterCard data shows that 90% of consumers’ spending is still in the physical environment. Leveraging technology, digital signage and engaging experiences in the store is the perfect answer to bridging this gap between physical and digital shopping.
“The experiential concept within the store is something retailers strive to capture for their consumers,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, EVP of Merchants and Acceptance at Mastercard in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The physical presence of a store is still important. People still thrive for face to face contact; they still want it. But they also want a digital experience when they come into the store; they want a reason to come into the store.”
Window Shopping Is Real
While I have seen a majority of the technologies presented at the pop-up before (the Rebecca Minkoff flagship store already has smart fitting room mirrors; Neiman Marcus launched a sunglass memory mirror late last year), there is one technology that surprised and blew me away: a digital window display that you can actually shop! What a time to be alive, am I right?
Prior to entering the pop-up, I was greeted by a large touchscreen in the window. It looks like a simple digital window display, but it’s actually a technology that allows consumers to browse and shop the inventory that’s inside the store.
Customers can shop the screen as if it were their own personal iPad. They can add items to a cart, but instead of paying on a large screen where everyone on the street can see the shopper’s credit card information, they will be asked to share their mobile phone number. Once the phone number is plugged in, the customer gets a text message with a link to the cart, where they can continue with the checkout process and have their purchase sent directly to their home. Cool, right?
This unique new technology can turn a physical store into a 24/7 shopping experience and puts a new spin on the term “window shopping.” I look forward to seeing which retailer will be the first to experiment with the concept.
The Next Big Thing pop-up experience is location at 120 Wooster Street in New York City, seven days a week (until Oct. 12) from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm.