New start-up Tapestry gives shop floor a digital identity, signs Diesel as pilot partner

It goes without saying that mobile is set to play an ever-increasing role in the future of retail – be it for payment, loyalty and rewards, social content or more.

Enter then, Tapestry, a new start-up from the team behind London-based digital agency Guided Collective, that very nicely ties all those things together.

Launched in a pilot partnership with Diesel in the UK, this iPhone and Android app helps to provide shoppers with a 360 degree online-meets-offline experience.

Trialling at Diesel’s Westfield London store until December 21, it allows consumers to curate a collection of all the items they like as they shop by scanning existing barcodes (or by using NFC in enabled Android devices). From there, they can see information about each piece such as size, colour and price, as well as the digital content that surrounds it – expert reviews from bloggers for instance, alongside videos, runway shows and more.

In essence, it’s a physical or real-world bookmarking tool for the fashion industry.

Those bookmark sets – known as Tapestries of course – can then be shared across social networks, but better yet be bought straight from the smartphone too. There’s also the possibility for notifications on things like promotions and rewards.

Referring to itself as a mobile loyalty service, the Tapestry write-up reads: “On the one hand it links content and promotions directly to physical products via a consumer’s mobile. On the other hand it links all physical items in store to the retailer’s ecommerce site, re-shaping the retail experience both in and out of store.”

Simply put, it gives a retailer’s physical inventory a digital identity, something Sam Reid, founder of Tapestry, refers to as “joining up the dots”. Based on a cloud platform, it also does so simply and at scale, he explains. And the app is to be funded on that basis, with retailers paying a subscription fee for the service.

In addition, it gives retailers permission-based real-time access to consumer interests, and therefore data. “The user is saying ‘I’m interested in these shoes, this t-shirt and this dress. Let me know when they’re on sale, or if stock is close to selling out, or if you’ve some interesting content to share,” the Tapestry description explains.

It’s hoped more retailers will follow in Diesel’s footsteps, says Reid, suggesting others are already in talks. This makes the concept all-the-more interesting – rather than just being about one brand’s clothing items consumers might save and explore, it becomes about their entire shopping trip. Imagine being able to recall everything you’ve seen, read reviews around them, and pick and choose which ones you want to buy at a later date. It’d certainly simplify those occasions when you regret something you should have purchased and you can’t find it online.

Another interesting part for the future will be seeing this app develop alongside NFC. With this, consumers only need to tap items (hence the clever Tapestry name) to bring them up on their phone – effortless. As this technology becomes more commonplace across devices, that behaviour is likely to see a huge spike in uptake in the retail space, blurring the digital and physical lines ever more.

It’s worth checking out blogger Liberty London Girl’s exclusive link up with Diesel for the Tapestry launch too. And watching the video demonstrating Tapestry in action, below: