Technology of the Week: Wavering Clothing
It used to be that technology was an intangible part of our life. A way of communicating via radio or broadcasting television shows. People were never worried about their furniture-sized computers, televisions or fixed-line telephones. However we have come a long way since those days, and so has commerce.
Traditionally, points of exchange were crowded, noisy and scrupulous performances of both suppliers and buyers. The ‘trade’ of commerce was not for the faint-hearted. Prices were discounted on the spot, promises were given by a verbal contract and a buyer would rarely look beyond the first 3 booths for a product of interest.
Looking back with today’s knowledge, it is hard to imagine an online purchase without substantial background checks on product quality (reviewed and quoted by professionals and customers alike), price (discount offers, vouchers or always low-cost stores), or time and quality of delivery. Companies have pushed their brands to engage customer touching points on more and more ubiquitous channels: from billboards and bus wallpapers, to in-app advertising on Mobile devices. Nowadays consumers have lower search costs, greater wisdom from the masses, as well as high information transparency and availability. In order to compete, brick-and-mortar stores have looked to transform commerce into an engaging digital experience in-store, in order to simulate the best parts of digital commerce.
A company that has combined location-based services with automation in order to offer unprecedented convenience for physical stores is Hointer. The company makes use of eTags (via NFC) and QR code technology, in concurrence with a mobile phone application, to deliver the fastest way of trying on clothing, finding the proper size and even asking for expert advice. On the company side, the Big Data captured is much more granular and offers in-store information such as preferred route, most effective marketing campaigns and instant feedback for in-season clothing.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum, Shoes of Prey is a company that has leveraged the power of outsourcing, and synergizes with partners such as manufactures and design companies, with the ultimate goal of creating the most personalized footwear clothing on the market for women. The business model is made possible by modularization, where every individual piece can be replaced and redesigned (in terms of color and texture), or completely removed.
In conclusion, we believe that both companies have put substantial effort in order to move the B2C industry forward, to the point that they have pioneered the customer-centricity, in terms of satisfaction and innovation, as can be seen by both company’s numerous awards and likeliness.