How IoT Could Be a Game Changer For the Fashion Retail Industry

Photo by Oak Labs, Inc.

The Internet of Things is changing a lot of industries. Apparently one of them: the fashion retail industry. Readwrite author Cate Lawrence talked to Healy Cypher, co-founder and CEO of Oak to see how his company is planning to disrupt fashion stores with their hardware enabled platform that uses mirrors as a conduit to transform the retail experience.

At the moment we are able to shop fashion anywhere at any time thanks to online retailers like Amazon and Zalando. We have grown accustomed to the fact that we can order in seconds and return for free. Mostly without any personal contact and human help. Therefore Oak created the Oak Mirror, a connected device that turns the bricks-and-mortar retail experience into one that is closer in reality.

As a first testing they integrated the technology in a range of Ralph Lauren stores in the US. All in-store items are connected to it with RFID chips. The result is an almost self-curated shopping experience, like Cate Lawrence describes it in her article: Any clothes you select to try on appear on a connected touch screen which is part of the dressing room mirror. Need a new size or a different color? Just tap the screen and a store assistant — each outfitted with a corresponding iPad — brings you your choice. The screen also offers you styling recommendations based on what’s available in store and you can email your selection to yourself for future consideration.

OAK also believes that there are other benefits besides the obvious ones for the costumer journey: The new technology could be also very helpful for the retailers itself. “The RFID gives perfect data. This means stores can always know what’s in stock at a glance, including size and colors. The average industry inventory accuracy is 55% in retail. It also enables buyers to see what other people bring into the fitting room and what items they are buying together. You learn whether certain items are always tried in one size but bought in another or tried but never purchased”.

Sounds like IoT could really be a game changer for the fashion retail industry.

Read the full article here.

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