Although this has been apparent in all of the fashion capitals, London has managed to out do the other cities in the online stakes with Burberry and Topshop leading the field. Burberry has long been one of the main technological players within London, turning their shows into interactive experiences rather than just a catwalk show. This year they continued to push this, again offering the ability to buy directly from the catwalk and also the ability to unlock exclusive content via Facebook and clicking on certain items within the stream.
As well providing a slick streaming extravaganza in from their catwalk location in Hyde Park, Burberry’s digital team have also been busy kitting out the new Regent Street flagship store, turning it into an interactive fan’s playground. As you walk in you are greeted with interactive signs and assistants carrying iPads with the ability to access information on your purchase history and previous preferences, you can also check out with the assistants armed with card readers on iPhones in a similar procedure now familiar in an Apple store. Whilst trying on the items you are greeted with an interactive mirror which recognises the RFID chips within the garment and brings up videos showing the production process and how you can pair the item with other pieces from the store. Although this is very exciting from a technological point of view, it will be interesting to see how sales are effected and if shoppers enjoy the brand information being pushed upon them.
Topshop has also decided to join the ‘buy now’ catwalk shopping phenomenon, which was an interesting move considering the fact that Burberry’s vice-president of public relations Justin Cooke has just joined the team, and that their price point is much lower than that of Burberry’s.
Topshop really pushed the Unique live stream in store and on social networks, which apparently paid off as they have reported that more than 2 million people tuned into to watch it. The company have also reported that the imagery has filtered down to over 200 million people through social media avenues, largely thanks to the screenshot-sharing tool it developed in conjunction with Facebook.
During the show consumers were not only able to buy directly, but were also offered the choice of colour to order the item in, which again proved to be extremely popular, in fact one of the items shown at the start of the show had sold out before the last model had stepped out onto the runway. Shoppers could also the make-up worn by the models; ready for delivery in 48 hours, and select accessories that would be delivered in 6 to 8 weeks, long before they hit the stores next year.