Hointer – Seattle based Hointer sells jeans in a not so old fashioned way. Their concept is to remove all of the friction from an apparel shopping experience.
Customers download the Hointer App, and visit the showroom. The showroom has one pair of each type of jeans on display. When you see jeans you like, you scan the 2d code on the product, and you are provided with realtime inventory information on your smartphone. You indicate your size, and you are directed to a dressing room where the items will be waiting for you.
While I was skeptical of the product waiting in the dressing room, in the demonstration video by Geekwire, the jeans appeared down a chute almost immediately after the reporter selected them from his device. You can then try on the jeans, and if you don’t like them, you put them down the chute in the dressing room, and the jeans come out of your shopping cart. If you do like them, you swipe your card and pay. Only the items you kept are on your cart. The payment process was not shown, but I would anticipate this could even be added to the mobile if the retailer were willing to pay the card not present processing fees.
While this process may not work for every apparel format, it’s very intriguing, and you can imagine at least some elements being implemented at almost any apparel outlet. Taking the vaguely annoyed teenager who unlocks the dressing rooms out of the equation (or at least hiding them behind a curtain) could be a plus. Three stores are online right now. Would love to see more of this in my local mall.
Kate Spade – In the spirit of instant gratification, Kate Spade has set up interactive ordering screens in front of four vacant storefronts in NYC. New Yorkers can walk up to the outdoor facing large format screen, and scroll through the new Kate Spade Saturday collection. If they find items they wish to purchase, they have them delivered at no charge in 1 hour. The system texts the customer and they pay with credit on delivery.
This is obviously intended to be more of a gimmick to get attention than a permanent fixture, but with a little rent and some paint, this is certainly an advertisement to which you can tie some actual results. Why not use these storefronts as billboards and measure their effectiveness at capturing the attention of targeted demographics based on the potential for sales. Media attention to their brand is also provided at no charge. The article provides no indication if pranksters are sending out Kate Spade delivery men to unsuspecting fashionistas in the dead of night without their permission.
Sustainability – European grocer Auchun now provides clients the opportunity to read their sustainability report the way such a report should be read; electronically instead of on dead trees.
Customers can use the Auchan app to scan the barcode on their grocery receipt and an interactive report shows directly on their smartphone. While not a giant business change, it shows Auchan’s dedication to sustainability and makes it simple to distribute the report information while getting them some free publicity at the same time.