Source: Guardian (UK), May 2012
By enabling customers to comment on and influence product lines, high street shops could revitalise the relationships they have with their customers. Innovative technology such as interactive dressing rooms combined with social media could transform the shopping experience altogether.
Shoppers would be able to get feedback from friends as they try on garments in the dressing room and then virtually try on those items their friends suggest using a touch-screen mirror.
Enticing friends to share the high street experience is just the start. Involving customers in product design and inventory decisions can optimise stock-to-sales ratio and control operating costs. In time this could even change how fashion trends unfold as customer demand influences seasonal ranges and retailers’ buying decisions. Some retailers are already teaming up with consumers to identify new revenue streams and build competitive advantage.
Social retailing has the potential to increase sales significantly as customers make product recommendations through their social networks, as well as their friends being able to see the choices they are making. It also has the power to grow a dedicated following of brand advocates that could attract more converts.