Still pursuing the holy grail of seamless, buy-when-inspiration-hits retailing, British fashion designer Henry Holland and financial technology innovation hub Visa Europe Collab have reprised their 2015 partnership for another direct-from-the-show retail experience – this time with UK augmented reality technologists Blippar.
Presented as part of the British fashion designer’s London menswear show in June 2016, selected shoppers (with the bespoke app) were able to purchase items simply by pointing their smartphones at the models. Blippar’s image-recognition technology identified the garments, leading users to a checkout page where they only needed to specify size and quantity to buy using a pre-registered credit/debit card. Items were shipped the following day.
Currently in beta, the concept was trialled in a show scenario for dramatic effect, but could be equally beneficial in-store – allowing consumers to buy direct from mannequins, models or staff. “This is the future of retail, because it’ll allow anybody walking down the street to be bought from,” stated Holland, who intends to extend the trial and add more pieces from his collections. “It opens up the entire world to becoming a shop.”
The concept was presented in a room enveloped by digital walls dubbed the Rave Cave (see Sensory Brand Spaces Part 1 for more on the renaissance of this club kids aesthetic), and traded heavily on the desire for instant retail gratification. This swelling consumer mentality is spurring numerous luxury brands to ditch traditional buyer-only sales models and open up the catwalks to direct-to-consumer commerce – see A/W 16/17 Catwalks Communications.