Retail Insider Awards – Meet the ‘Multi-channel Experience of the Year’ shortlist

Retail Insider recently announced the shortlist for its ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ and over the next few weeks we will be focusing on each of the six categories in the awards.  For each we will be providing a profile of each of the shortlisted entries.

Best Multi-channel Experience of the Year (sponsored by Bond Dickinson)

1. Farfetch ‘Store of the Future’ platform

Farfetch, the fashion retailer, has developed an operating system for stores-based retailers to help them create a much more digitally-focused multi-channel eco-system. The ‘Store of the Future’ platform links the online and offline worlds, with data running seamlessly between the channels.

Underpinning the platform is the ability for brands and boutiques to collect information on how their customers are behaving, including browsing, when they are in-store in exactly the same way that they collect data from their actions online, including product searches.

The identifier used across the channels is the ‘Universal log-in’ via the Farfetch app, which involves shoppers opting-in to data sharing. This then means shoppers are notifying the retailer that they are engaging with them both in-store and online. For instance, when a customer visits the store there will be a notification alerting employees of this fact and from this they can access information on the customer and use this to tailor the experience.

The modular approach taken by Farfetch with Store of the Future enables brands and boutiques to pick and choose the elements of the platform that best suits their business and their ambitions. The key elements include:

  • Connected clothing rail, which enables any products picked up to be automatically added to a customers’ in-store wish-list.
  • Digital changing room whereby the mirror can show the wish-list or recently browsed products, which can then be selected in chosen sizes and colours for trying on.
  • Much more informed sale associates who can curate recommendations for customers based on information collected on them such as previous purchases, browsing history, and any preferences they have earlier expressed.

The Store of the Future platform is being initially introduced into the Farfetch-owned department store Brown’s in central London and then into Thom Browne stores afterwards.


2. GoInStore

GoInStore bridges the gap between offline and online experiences, connecting website visitors with available in-store experts, using a live video stream with two-way audio. By creating an in-store experience for online customers, GoInStore drives conversion rates, AOVs and leverages retailers’ physical presence.

GoInStore connects your most valuable online customers to the people who know best: your in-store experts. The service calls on a retailer’s global network of stores to seamlessly match customers with the very best product expert to suit their needs, maximising customer satisfaction and increasing conversion rates.

What’s more, GoInStore integrates with a retailer’s analytics platform to record conversions that occur following interactions with the service. The result is that we can attribute online sales to in–store members of staff, acting as an incentive for collaboration between Retail and Ecommerce teams. It also means that we can put a real business value on the increase in productivity of in-store staff who use GoInStore to sell to online customers during quieter moments in the store.

By merging the channels, GoInStore creates a consistent experience for customers whether they are braving the high street or engaging via GoInStore from the comfort of their home, office or on the move.

Clients using GoInStore span verticals from fashion (Axel Arigato) to Consumer Electronics (Maplin), Furniture (DFS Netherlands), Musical Instruments (Thomann) and Automotive (Porsche), as well as non-retail applications in Property and Hospitality (Marriott Hotels).


3. Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay

Starbucks continues to set the benchmark for seamlessly integrating the mobile and in-store experience through its massively popular Mobile Order & Pay, which allows members of its Rewards programme who have downloaded the app to order their drinks and pay via their mobile device and then collect from store.

This is now available around the world and accounts for around 7% of all Starbucks orders in the company’s home US market. In terms of transactions, mobile accounted for 27% in the first quarter of 2017.

Such is the popularity of this multi-channel way to engage with Starbucks that it has opened a dedicated mobile order & pay store at its Seattle headquarters. It would not be a massive step for such a model to be rolled out into the mainstream market.

This painless way to purchase products is building the Starbucks customer base, according to Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks, who said: “Starbucks is engaging more deeply – and more frequently – and expanding its base of loyal customers faster and more consistently today than ever before.”

Mobile Order & Pay is certainly contributing towards this, said Kevin Johnson, COO of Starbucks: “The overwhelming success of Mobile Order & Pay has increased rewards and created efficiencies at Point-of-Sale.”

The ability to order and pay remotely and then collect in-store in a frictionless manner is resonating with coffee drinkers around the world and has resulted in 33% of the customers that pay by mobile doing so via Mobile Order & Pay.

Starbucks has continued to develop the functionality of its Mobile Order & Pay solution, with the latest progression being My Starbucks Barista. This enables customers to order and pay for their food and drink just by speaking in a conversational exchange into their device. This functionality has also been added as a reorder ‘skill’ on Amazon’s Alexa whereby customers can simply ask for their usual preferred item and it is then automatically ordered.




Read full story

Retail Insider ‘Digital Retail Innovations Top 50’ report launch video

Retail Insider recently celebrated the launch of the 2017 version of its ‘Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 Report’, sponsored by Webloyalty, where the most innovative solutions in retail in the UK and overseas were listed and ranked. Feedback from the event – with contributions from Paul Wilkinson, head of technology research at Tesco Labs, Alan […]

Read full story

Big fashion brands can learn a lot from upstarts

For Louis Vuitton the recent collaboration with US-based streetwear brand Supreme to produce a one-off range of goods must have been bittersweet. On the sweet side the tie-up, which saw the two sell through pop-up stores in London, Beijing, Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, LA and Seoul, created a massive demand for the collection. Thousands of customers […]

Read full story

Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards 2017’ shortlist announced

Retail Insider is very pleased to announce the shortlist for the inaugural ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards in 2017. The aim of the awards is to showcase the best examples of innovation across the sector and we believe the shortlist below consists of a strong field of innovations and progressively-minded organisations. I would like to congratulate all […]

Read full story

Addressing structural changes in interior design industry

Interior design has undergone something of a revolution as digital technology has given consumers access to products and the ability to create ‘looks’ through the likes of Pinterest and Instagram. This has reduced the number of interior designers and undermined the position of retailers that supplied them with product. Andrew Martin is one such operator, […]

Read full story

Voice-enabled technology finds its voice

The most natural way of communicating is through voice so it is hardly a surprise that there is growing interest in the use of voice-enabled technology for shopping. The recent ‘Retail Insider Digital Retail Innovations Top 50’ report listed Amazon’s voice-enabled Alexa solution as the number one retail innovation for the second year running. This […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Q&A – Pixoneye

Following the launch of the Digital Retail Innovations 2017 Report (sponsored by Webloyalty) a series of Q&A’s with the leading figures behind some of the key entries in the report are being published. Here is a Q&A with Ofri Ben Porat, co-founder & CEO, Pixoneye, which is placed at number 33 in the report. 1. How did […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Colin Porter, CEO of Joules

Colin Porter, CEO of Joules 1. What is the greatest opportunity for your business? The same as it has been for the last few years – UK and international growth. What’s fuelling the UK is recognition of the brand and our multi-channel approach. A pillar of our growth is the eight to 10 stores per […]

Read full story

Securing the future with vertical integration

Sheep, python, alligator and crocodile farms have all been on the shopping lists of the world’s foremost luxury brands in recent years as the trend for vertical integration continues to gain prominence within the retail industry. Ermenegildo Zegna purchased a stake in a sheep station in Australia renowned for its Merino wool, Gucci bought a […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Doug McCallum, chairman of PhotoBox and Trainline, and non-executive director of Ocado

1.What is the greatest opportunity for the retail businesses you are involved with? Offering richer, faster, easier and smarter, as well as more personalised, customer experiences. 2. What is the biggest challenge to these businesses? Establishing employee value propositions that are compelling to the best talent, with open, transparent, and fun cultures combined with technology […]

Read full story

Recognising benefits of Direct to consumer

One of the things US craft brewers find particularly surprising about their UK-based counterparts is that the latter sell very little of their beer direct to the consumer. In the US many brewers sell pretty much all of their output through their own on-site tap rooms for consumption on the premises or for take-away, whereas […]

Read full story

Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 report launch event

Retail Insider celebrated the launch of the new edition of the Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 Report with an evening event involving influential guest speakers and a tutored beer tasting. The event and report, both sponsored by Webloyalty, attracted senior executives from a variety of retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Pret A Manger, and Kurt […]

Read full story

Amazon dominates Digital Retail Innovations Top 50 report

Amazon has bagged the top three places in the Digital Retail Innovations 2017 Report with its Alexa technology retaining its position at the head of the table. The online juggernaut also took another position in the top 10, with its four highly-rated innovations comprising: Echo, Go, Logistics, and Dash. This is the fourth time Retail Insider […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Reformation

Name: Reformation The Place: America (again). I promise the next one will be in the UK but we like Reformation so we’re doing it anyway. It’s headquartered in Los Angeles – where else? But also has eight other stores including a couple of pop-ups scattered about in New York, San Francisco, Miami and the like. […]

Read full story

Retail Insider Breakfast – Michael Ward, MD, Harrods

    Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event with Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, who outlined how much of the success of the department store is down to the uncompromising focus on its wealthy core audience. In order to differentiate the business and attract the small group of the most affluent people from […]

Read full story

Voice threatens foundations of physical stores

Apple recently launched its HomePod smart speaker with much of its marketing effort based around the quality of the unit’s aural output but as we all know it is really all about its voice-driven capabilities. Like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa the new Apple product is firmly pitched into the field of engagement by voice. […]

Read full story

Get your entries in for the Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards’ 2017

There is still time to enter the inaugural Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail’ Awards for 2017. The aim of the awards is to showcase the best examples of innovation across the sector and we would like to invite relevant organisations to apply to be shortlisted in the relevant categories. If you wish to nominate for an […]

Read full story

Stores need to be constantly reinvented

Fast fashion is built around consumer appetite for a never ending stream of new products, which is to some extent fuelled by digital, and it is this that is also driving a mind-set of needing constant change in all things. This is manifesting itself in the way physical retail space needs to be increasingly dynamic. […]

Read full story

Movers & Shakers Q&A – Steve Baggi, co-founder of Green Park and leader of its Retail and Consumer Practice

Steve Baggi, co-founder of Green Park and leader of its Retail and Consumer Practice What is the greatest opportunity for your business? Helping retailers understand the impact of digital transformation on the organisational design of their businesses and what that means for the leaders they employ and the retail estate model they follow. It’s all […]

Read full story

Innovative Retailer – Stew Leonard’s

  Name: Stew Leonard’s The Place: Not here, basically. America in fact, where there are currently five outlets with another one scheduled for New York sometime in 2017. It’s a ‘retailtainment’ phenomena. The Story: Way back in the 1920’s Charles Leonard opened Clover Farms Dairy in the state of Connecticut. Howdy pardner: Oh no, you’re […]

Read full story