Barrier-free pathways between physical and digital. New concepts that make interaction between the two realities their distinctive code. But what is the right formula for the two universes to find a point of contact and a language that puts the consumer at ease? The key theme is always the same: the ability to unite digital and physical in a fluid process. The bridge between the two is built by technology, the only thing capable of virtuously integrating the experience, whatever form it may take. With high-tech tools at the customer’s service, interactive mirrors, digital cash tills, high-touch services, QR codes to find out whether the product is in stock and video games and other virtual environments to bring even the wariest customers closer to technology. The challenge is to help people go to the right place at the right time based on the product they are looking for in a world in which it is the customer who decides where to enjoy the buying experience.
3. ASTLEY CLARKE
WHO: ANNA SALEWSKI, FOUNDER E CEO
WHY: IT IS THE FIRST PHYGITAL SHOPPING EXPERIENCE PLATFORM
In the post-pandemic recovery, traditional retail gives way to new concepts whose distinctive code is interaction. The key theme is the ability to combine digital and physical in a no-barrier process. This is where Scroble, the first platform that supports retailers and consumers in achieving a phygital experience, comes into play. «Current events have merely accelerated a process of change that was already underway in the world of fashion and retail,» explained Anna Salewski, founder and Ceo of the Luxembourg-based company. «Buying patterns have never been so different and are in such constant evolution, retailers are having to respond to new requirements and multiple consumer demands that involve new issues such as sustainability. In this scenario, the interaction between physical and digital stores must be fluid, customer centric and fast. This is where Scroble comes in, providing customers with all the information they need, from the look book to all the characteristics of the brands, in order to select and save their favorite items in a virtual 2 2 wardrobe, eliminating critical issues, such as size, because artificial intelligence does all the work. All that is required is a smartphone to access a completely new and rewarding experience, whether online or offline. Conversely, companies are acquiring more and more specific data, which allows them to carve out a tailor-made path for each customer, from the nearest store to the most closely related products. In this way, production is also boosted because, in the light of real demand, only what is necessary is ordered, avoiding waste and improving the environmental impact.»
WHO: HOLLI ROGERS, CHAIR BROWNS AND CHIEF BRAND OFFICER FARFETCH
WHY: AN EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL CONCEPT IN WHICH TECHNOLOGY PLAYS A CENTRAL ROLE IN THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
WHERE: LONDON, ENGLAND
A new store in London is the hub of what is defined as "experiential retail" in which fashion, jewelry, food and art communicate in an environment where technology plays a leading role in the customers' shopping experience. Holli Rogers, Ceo of Browns says: «This new London location represents a radical change in the way we shop. It is a revolutionary space that mixes past and future, focusing everything on sensoriality and offering customers an unforgettable experience by stimulating all five senses.» Contributing to the strength of Browns, which is the showpiece of the Store of the Future project devised by Farfetch, which owns the Browns trademark, is the value of the e-tailer's platform solutions team, which supported the multi-brand with cuttingedge omnichannel technologies. In the new, four-story flagship store on Brook Street, the appeal of the early 18th-century building finds a valuable ally in interactive mirrors, digital checkouts, high-touch services and QR codes that show the availability of the jewelry on display. The operation is part of Farfetch's "Luxury New Retail" strategy, which uses its technology and relationships with brands to digitize the luxury industry by becoming a technology provider itself. The aim is not only for customers to buy from Browns, but also to offer them enjoyable experiences in a fully evolving retail dimension. «The new Browns is a celebration of physical sales but we want technology to be used to virtuously integrate the experience,» Rogers adds, «so that it is faster and smoother. We want customers to feel part of this fusion between technology and customer service, which is now synonymous with luxury.»
WHO: SCOTT THOMSON, CEO OF ASTLEY CLARKE
WHY: AFTER ITS ONLINE SUCCESS, THE OPENING OF THE FIRST PHYSICAL STORE IN LONDON
WHERE: LONDON, ENGLAND
In London there is a famous crossroads where seven streets converge at the same point: Seven Dials. This is the location chosen by Astley Clarke for its first flagship store in the UK. «Authenticity, sustainability and heritage are deeply rooted in our brand. With an international following, Astley Clarke has always felt a strong connection to London and so we were very selective in our search for a location in the heart of the city. This is just the beginning of Astley Clarke brickand- mortar story, that began its journey by selling exclusively online in 2006,» said Ceo Scott Thomson.
WHO: CLAUDIO AGAZZI, FOUNDER
WHY: IT PUTS OMNICHANNEL INTO PRACTICE, INTEGRATING BRANDS AND LOCAL DISTRIBUTION
WHERE: PARMA, ITALY
Get found online and sell offline. Retail-Tune was born with the aim of helping retailers exploit the Local Digital Marketing, by using the huge flow of data in a virtuous way, in order to bring customers closer to the store. No element of the Customer Journey is left to chance, from geolocation to tailored information care, with customized call to action and Drive to Store management. The latest novelty is the Concierge Page with the main information for Drive to Store: images, hours, address, contacts, and targeted promotional activities.
WHY: EXPLOITING THE POTENTIAL OF A VIDEO GAME IN ORDER TO BRING THE MOST TRADITIONAL CUSTOMERS CLOSER TO THE IMMERSIVE VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE
WHERE: LONDON, ENGLAND
Its name is “Electric/City” and it is the latest generation immersive virtual environment, which Selfridges department store in London launched in October 2021 as a pilot project, in collaboration with the streetwear brand Charli Cohen, Yahoo Ryot Lab and Pokémon that, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, "lent" its cult characters to enjoy this experience to the fullest. A temporary user-friendly pop-up that uses flythrough videos to move around the virtual space rather than letting you wander aimlessly. Dedicated to whom? All Selfridges customers, especially those who are less familiar with immersive digital worlds. The project is the latest example of how fashion companies and retailers are trying to fill the gap between real and digital world, anticipating a future where multiple customers will meet each other in video games and other virtual environments. «The focus of the project lies in merging the physical world with the digital one and offering customers the opportunity to choose whether to buy digital or physical garments», said Jeannie Lee, Womenswear Buying Manager at Selfridges, who pushed for the launch of this operation. «The world is moving in the direction where you choose by yourself where to live the sales experience», concludes Lee. And Sebastian Manes, Buying and Merchandising Director at Selfridges, further adds: «The physical part is a way to promote digital experience, the main focus of the project, the first for Selfridges». At a time in history when the rise of e-commerce has gradually changed the role of physical retail spaces, stores are increasingly turning into media channels. “Electric/City” was actually conceived as a video game to give visitors the sensation of getting through it and interacting with it.