By Aimee Chanthadavong
In-store customer engagement can involve appealing to some or all of the five senses but fashion retailer Cotton On has chosen to concentrate on targeting hearing.
Cotton On has launched ‘Try On Your Sound’, a first fitting room experience that uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to enhance the customer experience.
‘Try On Your Sound’ combines music and fashion to enhance the shopper’s in-store experience by creating a mini gig environment in the fitting room. Selected garments, are tagged with a unique RFID code and when these garments are taken in to the purpose built fitting rooms, the RFID technology initiates a playlist individually selected to reflect the style of the garment being tried on.
As part of the initial roll-out its denim range will be tagged with the RFID codes. For women it’s a choice between skinny, high-waisted and straight whereas for men the options are skinny, straight or relaxed fits. What follows is rock, indie or pop sounds tailored to the specific denim cut and colour and always reflecting the latest from the Australian and International music scene.
Mark Coombes, Cotton On Group marketing manager, said music and fashion are forms of self-expression and the thought of combining the two in-store will bring life into the fitting room experience.
“We’re all about the customer and finding new ways for them to engage with us. Our target market is 18 to 24 so technology is a big part of their lives and it’s about playing in that space in a fun way. They can already engage with us through social media, via a new QR in-store campaign and this is a new and exciting approach to that,” he said.
The RFID system transmits electronic information between a garment tag and a reader via a wireless system, meaning there is no need for human intervention or line of sight between the label and the computer – it simply activates when the garment and reader are in proximity.
Cotton On has worked with a RFID engineering company Unique Micro Design (UMD) to develop the technology. It is based on UMD’s new “Retail Edgeware Application Platform” (UMD-REAP).
‘Try on Your Sound’ will debut at the Cotton On Carindale, Queensland store with several additional locations to be revealed over the coming months. The store has been fitted with custom-built fitting rooms and will initially trial the technology on several men’s and women’s denim styles.
“Shopper feedback will shape the future of the project, if our customers tell us they love it we’ll roll it out to more stores. So we’re encouraging people to get talking via Twitter at #tryonyoursound. All going well we plan to roll this out in every major city in the world where there is a flagship Cotton On,” Coombes said.
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