March 2014

March 2014

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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.

Dig in, discover.   @_The_Urbanist

Go With The Flow For Shopping


The smartphone has been a game changer when it comes to comparison shopping in the brick-and-mortar realm. With a few swipes and a bit of surfing, you can check the best price for cat litter in a handful of seconds. Now Amazon wants to cut that time down even more with the latest version of their Flow app. The older version allowed users to get an Amazon price by two methods. You could scan the product barcode or snap a pic of the product and wait to see if the Amazon database recognized your image. Both proved to be a bit cumbersome and only allowed you to search books, DVDs, CDs, or video games. Amazon’s new version takes picture recognition to the next level. The app uses the smartphone camera in such a way that all you need to do is focus on the product and the price instantly pops up. From there you can click on the product to purchase it on the spot. It also saves scans for you to buy later. Amazon has also increased the breadth of brands to include food and household products.  With the ease of use of the app and an ever-expanding database, Amazon is able to further establish itself in the mobile arena and transform comparison shopping into a purchase opportunity.

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Spirit Of Innovation


Walking into a wines & spirits store as a nonaficionado can cause trepidation. What are the best wine and food pairings? How can you tell if it’s a good whiskey? What does age have to do with taste? Add in overzealous sales people and your stay is guaranteed to be a short one. Alcohol brands and retailers are now employing innovative tools to alleviate shopper apprehension caused by lack of knowledge. In Hong Kong, wine boutique Amo Eno features the Microsoft Surface on its countertops – allowing shoppers to access wine attributes like color, grape variety, and price as well as wine recommendations based on past purchases. Mistral Wines in São Paulo has sensors on its bottles. Shoppers can place them in front of tablets to receive tasting notes, ingredients, even wine producer interviews. The Whisky Shop in London also has tablets that shoppers can access and the staff can use as educational aids. And Bottlerocket in NYC has kiosks that offer helpful suggestions like the perfect type of wine to have with poultry or a third date. Another innovative way alcohol brands are making it easy for shoppers to not be overwhelmed is by eliminating the competition. Spirits like Absolut and Johnnie Walker have created their own stores with club-type atmospheres where shoppers can lounge, taste, and shop. Innovations like these help ease the alcohol selection process, which is proving good for business.

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Social Reaches In-Store

For retailers, social media has been an invaluable tool in helping connect with and drive shoppers in-store. Though with everything from global chains to mom-and-pop shops looking to promote themselves, cutting through the social clutter can be a bit challenging. Which now has some retailers looking outside the expected social paradigms to increase foot traffic. One such shop is the Marc Jacobs Daisy pop-up fragrance store in NYC, which now accepts social currency. Shoppers who tweet messages and post photos with the hashtag #MJDaisyChain receive Marc Jacobs gifts upon exiting the store. So far, using buzz over bucks has paid off, netting the shop around 13,500 Twitter and 4,300 plus Instagram mentions.

Target, too, is creating its own social media twist by collaborating with top pinners on Pinterest. Standouts like Joy Cho, Jan Halvarson, and Kate Arends are working on unveiling their own signature party collections for the retail giant. With a combined 24 million plus viewers on Pinterest, Target can get way more exposure with their audience than with its own 150K Pinterest followers. Both of these socially charged initiatives offer retailers the opportunity to create retail loyalty as well as generate rings at the register.

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For more urban trends & insights, check out next month’s issue.

Got questions? Email us at or tweet @_The_Urbanist