Interactive shopping is upon us! The Dandy Lab, a London based men's lifestyle and retail store, is using Cisco's Internet of Things (IoT) technology to merge the digital and physical worlds of retail. The Dandy Lab has created an interactive 'living laboratory' for customers, providing personalized experiences and unique offerings.
To create the futuristic store, the Dandy Lab worked with Cisco to implement a number of IoT technologies. The concepts encourage shoppers to interact with products and displays for a truly blended physical and digital experience. Similar to working with a personal shopper, patrons have the ability to search and match clothing -- creating a complete look. It also allows retailers to optimize business processes through the use of real-time data analytics.
"Physical retail stores are building new business models to increase brand preference and meet digital shoppers' lifestyle preferences," said Shaun Kirby, CTO, WARP Accelerated Rapid Prototyping at Cisco. "To remain successful in today's increasingly digitized world, retail stores must bring together the physical and digital into one omni-channel experience that delivers a more personalized, interactive shopping journey for consumers."
By connecting people, processes, data and things, the Internet of Everything (IoE) enables retailers to create that experience. At the same time, digitization increases efficiency across the board while optimizing back-end business processes. It also drives up conversion rates and loyalty through the use of customer and business data-driven decision making.
"When we created The Dandy Lab, we sought to design a completely new consumer shopping experience; one enhanced by technology and that allows customers to interact with the makers and designers to learn the story behind each product," said Julija Bainiaksina, Co-Founder, The Dandy Lab. "At the same time, we wanted to create not just a platform for selling products, but a living laboratory that allows designers, makers and brands to test the latest retail technologies and use the data to improve their products, processes and the customer experience."
Consumers can interact with products and displays to discover, learn, shop and share. Innovative technologies include the following transforming store concepts:
Interactive Mannequins "Talk" to Customers - Iconeme's interactive mannequins 'talk 'to customers through a smartphone application, sharing product information on garments, providing detailed styling sheets, and highlighting special offers. Shoppers can then browse the retailer's website to purchase or even share the look with friends and family through social media.
Digital Visual Search Help Shoppers Match or Clash - As the customer holds or wears a piece of clothing -- a camera scans the item. The 'Snap Fashion' visual discovery engine then displays other clothing and accessories that may be of interest in the customer's search for a complete an outfit.
Analytics Drive Up Sales - CMX, Cisco's location analytics and engagements platform, and Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi, work with The Dandy Lab to enhance overall business planning and to better understand store traffic patterns. By using Meraki's access points to detect visitors via their mobile devices, owners can extract analytics from all connected and unconnected Wi-Fi devices in the store. This optimizes customer engagement and gives owners the ability to optimize on storefront designs and displays. It also provides repeat customers with incentives and discounts that foster loyalty and long-term relationships.
Cameras Ensure Customer Profiling Without Privacy Issues - Hoxton Analytics, a start-up working within a Cisco innovation center in London, is helping The Dandy Lab optimize its staffing model. By overlaying sales data against footfall, the retailer has unique insights. Using easy to install cameras mounted at foot level at the entrance, the software counts the number of visits per day, the timing, and whether it's a single-shopper or group. Machine learning based analysis of shoe style allows the owners to profile customers' age and gender to an accuracy of 75 percent. Because this is based solely on foot traffic -- they are able to overcome traditional privacy issues encountered by facial recognition or social media data.
What's on the horizon? Future plans include moving to a bigger retail space in central London in early 2016. The space will further increase the accuracy of the analytics packages already in use, and will enable more items of Cisco's Store in a Box platform to be utilized by The Dandy Lab. This retail platform provides a suite of solutions with customized software and services that help retailers create an agile architecture to support the running of a store. It includes mobility services, PCI compliance, back-office services, video, analytics, and content caching -- all from a single server. In addition, the use of internet-connected lighting delivered by Power-over-Ethernet (POE) technology to strategically illuminate areas where customers show interest. This enables customers to change the ambient environment in a fitting room to see how clothing would look under different lighting conditions. For example, a shopper could see how apparel would look under outdoor light in the evening compared to bright indoor lighting. Energy savings would also be a plus.
The Dandy Lab would also like to leverage Cisco video collaboration technologies in connecting consumers face to face with a remote export or clothing supplier to discuss products and offer alternatives as needed.
Julija Bainiaksina, Dandy Lab Co-Founder, goes onto say "Using the latest technologies, The Dandy Lab store can recommend the perfect sweater (or jumper) to go with a customer's outfit that day, advise on how and where the sweater was made, and allow them to instantly share the outfit with
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