Window shopping: E-tailer steps away from web

15.09.2011 Augmented Reality : Window Shop : Fashion's Night Out

London – Online luxury retailer Net-A-Porter took an active bricks-and mortar retail role in last week’s Fashion’s Night Out (FNO), with pop-up virtual window displays in two major fashion capitals.

Net-A-Porter installed its Window Shop virtual stores to coincide with the global fashion event, instigated by Vogue in 2009. The live shopping walls appeared as vinyl digital projections on Mercer Street, New York, and Mount Street, London, and were both made available to consumers via a special mobile application, operable for one night only.

To shop at the windows, consumers downloaded the dedicated Window Shop app and then held up their mobile devices in front of the digital screens. The digital displays used Aurasma technology, which recognises surroundings and devices without using barcodes or tags. By holding the mobile device up to the digital screens, consumers could obtain more information about items, and buy them through the device.

‘The technology used in The Window Shop app is unique, because it lets you engage with the physical world on your smartphone device without the need for barcodes,’ says Laura Woolston, marketing manager at Velti Mobclix Exchange, San Francisco, on the Dave Everett m-commerce blog.

LS:N Global has reported on virtual shopping walls by Homeplus in South Korea and Ocado in London in the past month, and we expect to see more examples of online retailers creating an offline presence for their m-commerce operations. The Tomorrow Store will be one of the macro trends covered in The Future Laboratory’s forthcoming Trend Briefing in October.

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