The trend sensitive London has always been a global hub for art and commerce, but it is now also becoming a genuine tech contender. Our colleague and friend from London has been informing us on the big fashion-tech-shift she has been seeing within the industry. Huge fashion houses are closing down many of their smaller stores, to open up bigger, developed stores where they integrate the online and in-store experience for customers and at the same time sell more and more of their products online.
A great deal of this new London fashion-tech-industry is due to the number of creative technology start-ups that have jumped from 15 to more than 300 in just three years, taking British fashion designers along the road to submerge and re-define their brands. The latest to go along with the trend is Burberry. It’s new London flagship store has been unveiled this week and has been designed to resemble the brand's website as the store has organized it’s 44,000-square feet store just like their Burberry.com webstore. As they are furthering their focus on online-offline integration, e-commerce purchases can still easily be collected or returned at the store itself.
Also did they give all the sales associates iPads that have been loaded with super sophisticated “clienteling” apps, in order to give customers a more tailored in-store experience, linked to their online profiles.
But so far, the integration of original digital content is the most amazing element of this new retail strategy, as it brings our digital world to life in a physical space, where the customers can experience every facet of the brand through immersive multimedia content exactly as they do online. “Digital communications is an integral part of our culture at Burberry, so in the end it touches everybody,” chief creative officer Christopher Bailey told. Burberry is yet just another example of how major retailers are integrating the online and in-store experience for customers. This trend points out how going to the store is less about shopping in the sense of purchasing clothing than it is about shopping in the sense of strolling around town with and popping into a boutique for fun. This means that in the steady state, offline commerce will serve only two purposes: immediacy (stuff you need right away) and experiences (showroom, fun venues). All other commerce will happen online.