Rebecca Minkoff: Gamechanger of In-Store Digital Retail Experience

By Wendi Lai

With the prevalence of technology, international fashion brands have jumped on the digital bandwagon by incorporating technological elements in their businesses. One of the most prominent medium is an online store. The nature of such online platforms has proven to be extremely opportunistic with the best-performing e-commerce category in U.S. being apparel and accessories, an industry boasting a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 17.2% from 2012 to 2017. Apparel and accessories’ online success have been predominantly attributed to its convenient and free returns, innovative and engaging visualization tools and presence of customer reviews.

Despite these digital platforms mushrooming ubiquitously, Rebecca Minkoff determined that conformity was not its strategy. In fact, in November 2014, they gained first-mover advantage by combining features of online shopping with a traditional bricks-and-mortar experience in their retail outlet in SoHo, New York. A year after its opening, it successfully managed to gather a wealth of consumer data, social media reach and media attention.

First, let’s talk about what Rebecca Minkoff’s interactive digital shopping experience entails. When you first enter the store, you will be greeted by a large mirrored interactive display that features products, makes suggestions and even takes your order for a free beverage. You can make clothing selections by tapping a button that sends these products to one of the fitting rooms, each of which possesses its own mirrored touchscreen. Once you are in the fitting room, you can still request for additional items (perhaps of differing sizes) to be brought to you by accessing the online collection. You will also able to control and modify the intensity and brightness of the ambient lighting inside the fitting room.

The technology in the fitting rooms is powered by eBay as part of a partnership to deliver “the most advanced and cutting edge technology at the forefront of retail innovation”. With no cameras involved in the tech integration, items are recognized by RFID tags, which are detected when a shopper enters the fitting room. Similar to the online shopping experience, the shopper is able to view the item styled with different looks as well as sizes and colours available at the store. Through the infusion of technology in the retail store, Rebecca Minkoff was able to modify the direction of their collections after knowing how customers responded to certain items.

In years to come, perhaps the trend of interactive shopping experience, where retail stores will exhibit leading-edge video displays and high technology, will be the new bandwagon to jump on.