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mobile Retail technology

Target has a secret app for customer feedback

Target, Studio Connect, App, Customer, Review, Feedback, fast-fashion
Studio Connect

Target has developed a secret app with an interface that closely resembles that of Instagram to gather insights into the minds of its customers.

According to the retailer, the app’s main purpose is to gather feedback on product development, with an aim to drive better product selection and faster turnaround of stock to give the company a competitive advantage in the fast-paced retail space. Users can like and comment on pictures, much like a social media feed.

A designer asking for possible mothers-day catchphrases on a t-shirt, receives an average of 40-50 user responses in 24 hours. Furthermore, after an average of 10 hours the design team can already gather common themes and start to incorporate the feedback into its product development, reportedly.

Studio Connect, as the app is called, was first developed back in 2016, but is only accessible through a direct invitation by Target. It never has more than 600 members. Participants are selected by Target through evaluating online survey answers and check out feedback forms, after which they are then categorized into relevant marketing segments (such as if they having children in the household or not). This information is then also used to help the retailer analyze consumer patterns and understand more about its customers’ behavior. 

Target offers no monetary awards, although users can gather points that can be used for discounts and special offers.

Studio Connect, Target, Instagram, Retail, App, Reviews, Feedback, Customers, Fast-fashion
Studio Connect

The app has also been used as a crowdsourcing tool, with children encouraged to take part in a design contest and upload drawings of designs. Target’s creative team then found that many children were drawing a similar color pattern, which they then printed on a pair of leggings.

It has also helped the retailer to offer more inclusive clothing by gathering feedback by parents with disabled children, which resulted in the launch of a completely new clothing line.

Studio Connect is just one of numerous innovations by the retailer, which also recently invested in its beauty section by introducing augmented reality and text-to-chat robot.

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data mobile

Badgley Mischka teams up with SAP to launch live NYFW app

Badgley Mischka SS18
Badgley Mischka SS18

American label Badgley Mischka is partnering with enterprise software company SAP to launch a live and interactive app for guests of their upcoming show at New York Fashion Week.

The partnership aims to highlight the evolving relationship between fashion and technology, and how designers rely on the latter to quickly understand and respond to consumer needs.

Available from today (February 9), the app will enable audience members to interact in real-time with the collection, as models walk down the runway. The app will feature details on each look as they come out, with users able to vote whether they ‘like’ or ‘love’ it. All data is relayed live to the designers backstage, and after the show will help inform production and design decisions.

“Fashion is a fast-paced industry — not just during fashion week, but year-round,” said Mark Badgley, co-founder and designer of Badgley Mischka. “Through our work with SAP at New York Fashion Week, we are excited to be receiving real-time insights about our collection from industry insiders and consumers, which will ultimately help us bring these looks to market.”

Following the show on February 13, SAP will host a panel, titled “Demystifying Digital: The Future of Fashion Is Now”, which will discuss how the intersection between fashion and technology will help more effectively reach digitally-connected consumers.

“How brands connect and engage directly with consumers creates the greatest opportunity for business in the 21st century,” said Jen Morgan, executive board member of global customer operations at SAP. “SAP is at the center of helping companies meet this challenge, and we’re thrilled to partner with an iconic brand like Badgley Mischka to showcase how our innovations are shaping the future of retail and connecting businesses, consumers and designers alike.”

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Blocks Comment technology

YSL Beauté launches Google Glass tutorials in Selfridges, WiFi issues impact experience

ysl_googleglass2

Yves Saint Laurent Beauté launched Google Glass make-up tutorials in its consignment at Selfridges department store in London last week. First offered at Bloomingdales in New York in September, these consultations have sparked quite a bit of press excitement. They’ve accordingly been a great way for the brand to pull in new customers, but the execution appears to be a little patchy.

The tutorials need to be booked in advance and take 45 minutes. The experience is similar to any other make-up consultation: the artist applies the beauty products to one half of the face, shows the customer the results in a mirror, and then applies make-up to the other half of the face, all-the-while explaining what they are doing and why.

What makes a Google Glass tutorial enticing is that the device records the entire procedure. After the makeover is completed, customers are sent a video of it via email, including before/after shots and a list of the products used. The video can be played back at any time, serving as a tutorial for how to apply the make-up in the future.

The advantages of this for YSL are plentiful. Aside from growing its email database, it allows the company to gather data on which items are most suited to the customer demographic at Selfridges, and which items receive the most post-consultation attention. It could likely also inform future customised product recommendations.

ysl_googleglass1

According to a make-up artist at the Selfridges YSL counter, the service is in demand and customers have been scheduling in appointments. There’s just one problem: the WiFi connection has been playing up, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to email the videos within the promised 20-minute timeframe after a consultation.

It’s a common issue: innovative ideas are challenging to execute, especially when they involve the introduction of new technology. Often, it comes down to difficulties in the technology on-boarding process. The existing systems in place may not be sophisticated enough to carry or support the technology. And without the follow-up video, the Google Glass consultation is no different to any other make-up consultation. And being promised a video within 20 minutes and not receiving it until at least a few hours later can lead to quite an amount of frustration for the consumer.

While this fixture may incentivise customers to book their make-up consultancy at YSL instead of at a different brand in the famous department store this season, it seems likely that the excitement around it will subside. It might prove to be a case of “been there, done that”. Either way, it’s a fun way for shoppers to get their party-face on, and it showcases YSL in a more innovative light than many of its competitors, or indeed that’s been seen before.

Images via fashion.telegraph.co.uk