Have you ever stood in a dimly-lit, cramped room half naked and feeling lost and confused? No, it’s not the Matrix. It’s just your typical fitting room scenario. Too often I have been too embarrassed to ask for help from a store associate or overwhelmed by the number of choices a store has to offer. And let’s face it, sometimes what you see isn’t what you get. That outfit may look great in the store’s nightclub lighting, but in the light of day, everything looks different. Uri and Rebecca Minkoff, CEO and founder, respectively, of Rebecca Minkoff, understand the shopper’s dilemma and actually did something about it.
Launched in 2001, Rebecca Minkoff’s playful and edgy designs captured the attention of the fashion industry. From a single t-shirt and later, a single handbag, born today’s extensive apparel and accessories line. Today, the brand can be seen on celebrities and fashionistas alike. At a growth rate of 20% annually and nine figures in sales volume, Rebecca Minkoff has been successful as an entry point into the luxury market.
Rebecca Minkoff recently partnered with eBay to deliver a store of the future in the Big Apple. The brand’s Manhattan store features a mirrored wall at the entrance where shoppers can order a drink and browse through lookbooks. Adding clothes to the dressing room is as easy as touching a few buttons, eliminating the need to carry piles of clothes while you browse.
Still want that arm workout? You can also opt to shop the traditional way, but what happens in the dressing room is another experience all together. Each dressing room features a high-tech mirror. Articles of clothing or accessories are tagged by RFID and appear automatically on the mirror as you walk in. From there, shoppers can order different sizes and mix n’ match outfits by simply tapping on the mirror. Within minutes, a sales associate will appear with all your heart desires.
No more putting on an outfit just to step out and ask for help. The help comes to you. And because the sales associate knows your size and dressing room pieces, she can bring you items that go well with what you already have. The dressing room is also outfitted with different lighting “so you can see what it might look like in your end use case,” says Uri Minkoff.
The seamless shopping experience ends with the shopper checking out within the dressing room via PayPal or traditional methods. Shoppers can also receive an email with everything they tried on that day and purchase the products online at a later time. The fast and the not-so-furious experience is the girl-on-the-go’s dream.
Creating a shopper-friendly atmosphere can certainly boost sales, but Rebecca Minkoff also benefits from the vast amount of data it now has on its customers and their shopping habits, which can influence future designs.
With data comes great power, but nothing can trump the importance of creativity and gut feeling in fashion. If brands can create the perfect balance, the marriage of tech and fashion can indeed create something beautiful.
The question remains, what will you be asking of your mirror in the store of tomorrow?
Check out a video of the Rebecca Minkoff store experience here.