New technologies in brick and mortar stores – Fashion Tech 101


Image recognition, beacons, sensors, emotion recognition, AI, interactive mirrors are becoming a very important part of “offline” retail strategy. Not everyone is using it, but many (big) companies are starting to treat technologies very serious and to implement them in their brick and mortar stores. Too often we hear “omnichannel” in fashion and it’s high time for this industry to actually implement it in their strategy. In this video, I’m talking about it how retail industry is implementing new technologies in their brick and mortal stores. 

Reasons to use new technologies in brick and mortar stores

There is no other reason to use emerging tech other than business. And there are a few variables that determine whether sales goes well or not (and I’m not talking about location here). So business strategists are deciding to use implement technologies for a few reasons:

  • to create a better experience of offline shopping – new techs are fun! so… many companies are using them to engage customers and create positive emotions in their brick & mortars,
  • to track data flow between brick and mortal store and ecommerce – because it often happens that people visit store and then purchase online, or find something online to later come and buy it in a mall center or a boutique… and brands want to know how, when and why customers are buying,
  • to get to know their clients better and offer them their most fav pieces in the best prices,
  • to hire less staff,

Ok… so what are the examples of new technologies in brick and mortar stores?

The first one, are classic loyality card. they are here to help retailers to collect and analyze data about customers. Thanks to loyality cards – brands know what we buy, where, how much we spent, they know our name, emails, home adress, age… they know we’re in store etc.

But there are brands which go farther than that.

For example, INDITEX is using RFID to control their stock. Thanks to the technology staff can find anything in their stores very quickly. Company started with Zara and is using this technology in their stores since 2014.

Another example of great technology use is Amazon (obviously…:)). You have probably heard about Amazon Go… brick and mortal store in Seattle, where clients don’t have to checkout to buy products. Everything works very similiar to Uber – you pay with an app without even touching it. Bunch of image recogintion technology, beacons (sensors that are using LTE), weight sensors mixed with artificial intelligence (so called AI). It allows you to buy without wasting your time on standing in lines and paying.

Interesting example of ecommerce in a real world is Polish shoe e-store eobuwie. In this ecommerce you order by using one of 40 touchscreens located in store in Wrocław. Staff brings you shoes in less than 3 minutes. If shoes you like are currently anavailable – you can order them and they’ll be in store in less than 24 hrs. 

Similarly, Reformation brand allows you to choose clothes by using touchscreen. Clothes are waiting for you in a changing room shortly after that. You don’t have to talk to anyone while shoping. BTW. this changing room allows you to try clothes while listening to your favorite music. Rebecca Minkoff, Ralph Lauren, Adidas or H&M were also testing touchscreens (often – AI powered) in their stores but in these cases these were more than touchscreens, but also mirrors.

There are many more examples of tech in brick and mortal stores, like virtual fitting rooms or emotion recognition (will cover that one somewhat soon).

Image source: - fashion ecommerce


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