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Reformation opening tech-enabled store inspired by Silicon Valley

Reformation's tech-enabled San Francisco store
Reformation’s tech-enabled San Francisco store

Reformation is set to open its fifth store, this time in San Francisco, and inspired by brands that call Silicon Valley home, including Apple and Tesla. The result will be a more efficient experience for those who visit, enabled via touchscreen monitors and a smart dressing room setup.

The aim is to get away from the “self-service cafeteria” feel of so many stores, according to founder Yael Aflalo. “Most [stores] are super messy, you can never find your size, you have to wait in line forever, the dressing room lighting is the worst,” she told Fashionista. “I felt like a high-volume, high-end retail experience was basically nonexistent. So we wanted to blend internet and IRL to create a store we’d actually want to go to ourselves — that hopefully solves a lot of these problems.”

She took inspiration from the ease of shopping at Apple, where even on its busiest days, there’s a high level of customer service maintained. She particularly appreciated the fact the products are neatly on display, not cluttering the store, and used that to inform the way she designed her own space, placing her best selling pieces front and centre.

Reformation's tech-enabled San Francisco store
Reformation’s tech-enabled San Francisco store

The touchscreens meanwhile were influenced by Tesla, where there are similarly minimal models on display and instead digital interfaces that showcase the detail of everything you can purchase. “I bought a Tesla in a showroom and it left a profound impression on me,” Aflalo told Fast Company. “Usually buying a car is so difficult and horrible. But buying a Tesla on a flatscreen monitor was so easy that I wondered if I was doing it right: I picked the color I wanted, entered my address, and swiped by credit card, then it was all done. My car showed up a month later.”

Customers to the Reformation store can use the touchscreens to explore looks they like, and then select them to arrive in the dressing room. Much like the Rebecca Minkoff and Ralph Lauren experiences, that connected space allows users to request additional sizes, colours or styles, as well as do things like change the lighting and play your own music.

Aflalo says she’s already planning the next steps, including a system that merges both the online and offline experience in a literal sense – allowing shoppers to purchase an item there and then to have it sent home, or to pre-order at home and have them ready for you to try on when you come in.

The store opens at 914 Valencia Street in San Francisco on February 21.

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What you missed: Google’s fashion week plans, Style.com opens, Tom Ford’s second movie

fashion tommy gigi carnival
Tommy Hilfiger’s carnival plans at New York Fashion Week

A few days before New York Fashion Week begins and needless to say much of the focus is on those plans – from Tommy Hilfiger’s carnival to Misha Nonoo’s Snapchat show, not to mention an update on Google that will see fashion brands curating what their search results look like pertaining to the new season.

Also hitting the headlines over the past week has been everything from M&S cutting head office jobs, Smashbox’s virtual reality campaign and our interview with Westfield’s Lindsey Thomas. Don’t forget to check out our full list of upcoming events at the bottom too…


TOP STORIES
  • This fashion week, Google gets a new look [NY Times]
  • Condé Nast’s Style.com is now open for business [The Industry]
  • Tom Ford makes comeback at Venice festival with his second movie [Reuters]
  • H&M open entries for 2nd annual innovation grant [Fashionista]

BUSINESS
  • Marks & Spencer looks to cut up to 500 jobs at London head office [The Guardian]
  • How online fashion companies use data to enhance sales [Fashion United]
  • The Blonde Salad ups the ante [BoF]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Innovating on Snapchat: Misha Nonoo, Ann Taylor Loft and River Island [F&M]

RETAIL
  • How the founder of Farfetch is politely reinventing the boutique for the digital age [The Telegraph]
  • One year on: How Westfield Bespoke, the retail tech space piloted in San Francisco, is winning [Forbes]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Smashbox goes behind the scenes of a photo shoot in its foray into VR [AdWeek]
  • Here’s how shoppable video will (finally) work [Venture Beat]

START-UPS
  • In-depth with Modern Meadow: the start-up bioengineering leather in a lab [Forbes]

UPCOMING EVENTS
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Digital snippets: all about chatbots, Burberry’s ‘Snapcode’ products, Ralph Lauren’s connected fitting rooms

chatbots-illo-hed-2016

If there’s one story dominating tech titles at present, it’s the role of chatbots in our messaging apps. That was especially the case following Facebook’s F8 developer conference Tuesday, but is also reflected through numerous other recent stories focused on brand uptake across messaging channels. Read on for your round-up of all that, as well as other latest fashion and technology stories to know about…


  • Shopping start-up Spring launches one of first bots on Facebook Messenger [Forbes]

  • Kik launches a ‘Bot Shop’ because bot shops are the new app stores [Fortune]

  • Why brands from Barbie to Uber are so hot on chatbots [AdWeek]

  • Sephora launches chatbot on messaging app Kik [Forbes]

  • WTF is all the fuss with chatbots? [Digiday]

  • Chat bots, conversation and AI as an interface [Benedict Evans]

  • Snapchat takes on Facebook with huge new upgrade – messaging is the focus [Vanity Fair]

  • Data alone can’t decode the fashion consumer [BoF]

  • Is fashion ready for the AI revolution? [BoF]

  • Burberry first to create a ‘Snapcode’ on their products to nudge shoppers onto Snapchat Discover [The Drum]

  • Inside Ralph Lauren’s connected fitting rooms [Digiday]

  • Express leverages Snapchat with in-store checklist campaign [Mobile Commerce Daily]

  • Snapchat is ‘increasingly important’ for Asos customers [Marketing magazine]

  • Your ad here: why Grindr, Pornhub and YouPorn are fashion’s new billboards [It’s Nice That]

  • Even in a mobile world, retailers aren’t convinced social media can sell [AdWeek]

  • Facebook said to face decline in people posting personal content [AdAge]

  • Pinterest opens up Promoted Pins for UK advertisers, with John Lewis and Made.com among launch partners [The Drum]

  • Flush with tech wealth, San Francisco warms to fashion [BoF]

  • Manufacture NY and FIT partner to bring revolutionary textile innovation to New York [Manufacture NY]