A UNIQUE ANGLE ON THE URBAN SHOPPER
Cities have always been at the intersection of commerce, creativity, and change – luring more potential urbanites each year. By 2040, over three-fourths of the world’s population will be dwelling in these metropolitan meccas. This ever-expanding urbanized lifestyle impacts everything from public health, transportation, open space design, social infrastructure, and the shopping.
At Integer, we’re always looking to better understand the urban shopping experience. How mobile technology impacts purchase. Innovative uses of small retail spaces. We are also city dwellers. We hail taxis. Dodge pigeons. So we offer not just the latest global urban shopper trends, but a unique city perspective as well.
We’re ready for all the urban retail surprises 2014 has in-store. @_The_Urbanist
Big Change With Checkout
Waiting on crowded store lines – a time-honored Times Square tradition. The stigma that H&M is trying to alleviate with what H&M spokesperson Jennifer Ward coins as a “futuristic tech-savvy design.” Dressing-room areas now come complete with iPads so shoppers can check out on the spot. Tech is even filling in for salespeople. Mannequins are equipped with screens on their foreheads that feature videos, photos, even deal alerts. Offering these innovations allows shoppers to get in and out faster, which can increase sales while decreasing headaches.
3-D Tailored Fit
3-D printing is so 2013. The latest craze is 3D scanning – particularly when it comes to custom-fit fashions. NYC’s Acustom Apparel has modeled its suit business around this technology. Customers start by choosing the design of the suit courtesy of the store’s mobile app. Then, it’s time to be fitted. Shoppers step into a back room where they are asked to remove their clothes. If the customer is wearing baggy boxers (that could be troublesome for scanning), no worries – Acustom Apparel has plenty of snug-fitting disposable undergarments on hand. All it takes is a handful of seconds for the machine to collect 200,000 data points. From there, Acustom Apparel goes to work creating the suit, which takes around 4 weeks. The final price tag, $800. By offering this attention to detail, smaller retailer outlets can compete against big chains that offer off-the-rack clothing.
Socially Charged Engagement
Back in the day, participating in brand engagement with the consumer simply meant being awarded a free giant java mocha cup after getting that fifth stamp on your card. Today, retailers have become increasingly socially savvy in this arena. Loyalty programs delve deeper, focusing on shoppers’ desires and aspirations. One such example is Walgreens ‘Steps with Balance Rewards’ program. It asks members to log their fitness data in exchange for store points. At 75 million members, it has become America’s largest loyalty program. Another one comes from Volkswagen. The innovative car company has created the SmileDrive app, which rewards drivers for such things as spotting another VW on the road or driving certain distances. Retailers are hoping that by adding this extra layer of personal engagement, random shoppers can be transformed into retail loyalists.
Reconfiguring the QR Code
A coffee cup. A brick. A potato. Three things with no obvious link until now. The Taggar app can now outfit any stationary object with QR code capabilities. You can tag them with videos, captions, images, and links. All you need is the app’s scanner to access it. Users can also swipe through a gallery of other tagged objects.
For more urban trends & insights, check out next month’s issue.
Got questions? Email us at email@example.com or tweet @_The_Urbanist