Property investment company Shaftsbury has launched an app as part of its Chinese New Year marketing campaign for Chinatown in London. Traditionally, red packets, or hongboa, are exchanged in Chinese culture between family, friends and colleagues, and typically contain a monetary gift. The new Red Packet app allows users to open a virtual ‘red packet’ to reveal exclusive Chinatown London offers, ranging from big ticket prizes to discounts at restaurants.
A new app that gives customers a fresh way to try on their favourite Gap styles anywhere they want was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. The DressingRoom app by Gap was created to help customers virtually 'try on' clothing through a smartphone Augmented Reality experience.
Cafe X Technologies has unveiled its first robotic cafe at Metreon Shopping Centre in San Francisco, aiming to speed up today's coffee buying experience. Cafe X can consistently serve its customers in seconds with a focus on delivering beverages that taste exactly how the coffee roaster intended.
Designer trainers brand Axel Arigato is using first-person shopping technology to provide its online shoppers with a live interactive virtual tour of the company's flagship Soho store. This technology, by GoInStore, allows the website visitor to interact with the store sales advisors, delivering a true first person experience from the comfort of their home.
Luxury clothing retailer Thomas Pink has deployed the Acuitas Digital Internet of Things (IoT) platform at its Wall Street store in New York City, which helps retailers to digitalise the physical store. It will enable the retailer to track in real time the movement of merchandise and people around the store, use big data analytics to predict shopper behaviour and provide a foundtation for real-time interactive in-store experiences.
Russell Pierpoint, managing director at multichannel publishing specialist Evolved Media Solutions, says virtual reality can turn shopping into an exciting, engaging and memorable event, and also notes its importance within the store design process.
The start of a new year is a natural time to make predictions about what is going to be ‘big’ in the coming 12 months, and Virtual Reality (VR) has been tipped to become a major disruptive force in the retail sector for a while now. Yet, although there have been interesting forays into VR by some retailers (Samsung/AT&T, IKEA, Audi and North Face being notable), it has yet to create the hoped-for revolution.