New Social Media to Store Flagships, APAC Region
Blurring the lines between social media and in-store experience, Japanese casualwear retailer Uniqlo and beauty company Shiseido have launched concept stores in Harajuku, Tokyo, while Burberry has partnered with Chinese digital giant Tencent (owner of messaging and e-commerce app WeChat) for a new hyper-connected store in Shenzhen, China.
Uniqlo’s new store includes a wall comprised of 240 individual touchscreens showing outfit inspiration via the brand’s proprietary StyleHint app, developed using Google’s 2019 image-recognition technology. Customers can browse a library of photos posted by Uniqlo fans and influencers and match outfits with similar apparel sold by the brand. The app includes wayfinding technology that can direct customers to the in-store location of their desired items.
At the Shiseido Beauty Square flagship, alongside cosmetic ranges and an in-store salon, there is now an Installation Zone and a Go-Live Zone. The Installation Zone includes an LED wall which features South Korean avatar app Zepeto, which boasts 150 million users including a massive Gen Z fanbase. Using the Zepeto app on their phones, consumers can project their avatar onto a virtual rendering of the space displayed on a giant screen. Avatars can be customised with Shiseido make-up and appear alongside the avatars of their friends or of brand ambassadors including US transgender actor and LGBTQ+ activist Hunter Schafer and Japanese-American illustrator Lauren Tsai. The Go-Live Zone contains both a studio for creating live-streamed videos and a screen displaying those videos, alongside brand adverts. For more, see Leveraging Live-Stream Commerce.
Burberry and Tencent’s store uses WeChat as its digital backbone and conduit to a concierge service: it’s a phygital environment which rewards customer interactions such as trying on items – each in-store action feeds digital gameplay on WeChat. Actions are denoted visually by the appearance and evolution of a fawn avatar (first seen in Burberry’s B Bounce game, a motif connecting to chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci’s designs). Further interactions, such as scanning a product’s QR code for more information, win new characters and outfits.