Social shopping
Last month I posted a story on a smart dressing room trial at New York’s Bloomingdale’s, reported in the New York Times. Meanwhile the San Jose Mercury News provides some more depth on the prototype and introduces another one.

“A New York technology company called IconNicholson has developed a “magic mirror” that enables customers to view themselves in a series of outfits – without ever having to remove their garments. What’s more, shoppers who try on actual outfits can stand at the mirror and invite their friends to review the look via the Web. Those friends then can comment by sending text messages that pop up on the mirror’s surface.”

Closer to home, tech giant Cisco Systems has developed a system to allow shoppers to electronically check the store’s inventory for the correct size garment. They can then talk by phone to a salesperson, who will bring the item directly to their changing room stall. That way, shoppers don’t have to go through the hassle of getting dressed and trekking back to the display rack.”

The article then delves into the question why prior efforts to install technologies in fitting rooms have faltered, and what shoppers “really” want.

- Read full story- IconNicholson’s social retailing concept overview (includes video)- Cisco’s retail industry solutions

Note that the Cisco website contains a whole lot of information on technological solutions to improve the customer experience, including an August 2006 benchmark study (pdf, 488 kb, 10 pages), a January 2007 brochure on in-store media solutions (pdf, 768 kb, 4 pages), a March 2007 newsletter on retail trends (pdf, 148 kb, 3 pages), and many videos.