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Neighborhood Goods: Making retail relevant

Physical retail traditionally exists in a vortex of information, which doesn’t make sense for brands these days, says Matt Alexander, co-founder and CEO of new department store Neighborhood Goods, on the latest episode of the Innovators podcast. 

The company’s inaugural space, which launched in Plano, Texas, in late 2018, carries a selection of new and established brands in an environment that is hyper relevant to both its location, and its customer, through the use of data. 

Alexander’s view? Success lies in information. “If you’re a direct-to-consumer, digital-native brand, you’re going to look at this world, and you’re going to say: ‘We should be able to capture a certain amount of informative data to dictate how we should run that store, and how we should merchandise [it]’.” he explains. “That’s what they do on the web all day long. The moment you land on any of their websites, they know a huge amount about you, and exactly how you’re interacting with that site. And they optimize around it.”

His brilliant phrase: it’s all about operating in an economy of relevance. 

It’s for this reason many legacy retailers are otherwise struggling, he explains. In a basic sense it comes down to them not creating the goods, services and experiences that they know for fact the consumer wants. There is therefore a lot for them to learn from D2C incumbents – from Everlane to Casper – who have placed this front and centre in their strategies. 

Join us for this episode as we also explore why experiential retail needs to go beyond just putting a ball pit in the store, how modern brands are using the physical space for entirely new reasons, and why Alexander believes legacy retailers may still have the ability to play catch up after years of ignoring consumer needs after all.

Listen here: Entale | Spotify |  Apple Podcasts | Android Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by the Current Global here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by the Current Global, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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data e-commerce product social media technology

Amazon patents virtual changing room app with data-led style recommendations

Amazon is developing a fashion app that will allow consumers to trial outfits in a virtual changing room as avatar versions of themselves.

According to a UK patent filed by the retail giant, the app will mine user data to better provide recommendations on what they might like or need. After opting into data-sharing, users will have different data on their phones analysed, such as social media images of themselves and calendar events. Other information such as the weather where they live and where they like to spend their time will also be taken into consideration.

Images of the users taken from their phones will then be rendered into virtual avatars which will enable them to visualise recommendations. The user can then browse outfits and select likes or dislikes by swiping left or right.

The app will further allow users to discover new items of clothing by accessing different tabs such as “search by look”, “randomise” outfits, and “find more like this.” Wishlists and favorite outfits can then be shared on social media.

In recent years, Amazon has hinted at its ambitions of helping users better dress and shop in the home with a series of devices and patents. In 2017, it introduced the Echo Look which similarly analyses user photos to provide style recommendations; in early 2018, it introduced a patent not too dissimilar from this virtual changing room, where a smart mirror will virtually overlay clothes onto the user and place them in different scenarios; and in May last year, it began 3D scanning users in order to explore the future of fit.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.