Social Networking, Social Bookmarking, Social Shopping, and now, Social Retailing. This latest shopping technology fascinates the academic me, worries the fashion individualist who wants girls to find their own style, all while my inner tween goes "squee!"
Global interactive agency, IconNicholson, paired up with fashion designer Nanette Lepore at the National Retail Federation conference in New York City, to debut this new technology. Aimed at today's "digi-savvy" young adult audience, social retailing is an interactive three-way mirror that allows shoppers to send photos or videos to friends via MySpace, email, IM, or cell phone to get instant votes from friends, which are then made visible on the mirror itself. If friends aren't available for a virtual fashion consultation, teens can check to see what other teens have purchased. Not available in your size/color? Kiosks allow shoppers to check inventory, view alternates, and easily check out using mom or dad's handy MasterCard. Orders can even be delivered.
One of the key technologies behind Social Retailing™ - Near Field Communication - further serves to help retailers monitor inventory in real time and collect data that provides valuable insight into customer mindsets, behaviors and evolving needs.
Lepore plans on installing Social Retailing kiosks in a department stores like Bloomingdale's or Saks Fifth Ave in the next 3-6 months. WWD