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Rebecca Minkoff tosses cash registers with new connected store

Apparel and accessories brand Rebecca Minkoff has teamed with eBay to power its new tech-savvy store in New York that allows mobile connectivity and transforms the in-store shopping experience by incorporating digital components.

Featuring interactive mirrors, the SoHo store aims to blend the online and in-store shopping experience together to give customers more automation and assistance during their journey. EBay’s team added in special features that should resonate well with Rebecca Minkoff’s core demographic, all adding to a deeper level of engagement for customers.

“The in-store experience we’ve created with Rebecca Minkoff connects to the mobile app experience, providing a true omnichannel view of the customer’s relationship with the brand,” said Rob Veres, senior director of innovation and new ventures at eBay, San Francisco. “Customer preferences, purchases, fitting room visits, and more can be shared between the customer and the store associates, enabling a more personal experience both in-app and in-store.

“The app also serves as a constant companion for the customer, where they can find new products, content, and events as they happen,” he said.

Getting connected
The interactive mirrors double as screens that feature videos and inspiring content. Shoppers can also use the mirrors to request a dressing room and add apparel items to it. While they wait for their items to be collected, users can choose from a number of complimentary drinks and browse accessory items.

By keying in their phone number, users will be sent a text message alerting them that the dressing room is being prepared. They will receive another message once it is ready.

The brand is then able to reconnect with the user via text. For example, the text service sends a link to the Rebecca Minkoff mobile app. Users can show a stylist that they have downloaded the app and receive 15 percent off their purchase.

Users can then opt into the brand’s loyalty program by replying with their email address.

When shoppers reach their dressing room that also contains a connected mirror, the items brought into the room are recognized and are displayed on the screen. Users have another option to key in their phone number to create a profile for future reference.

Another feature in the dressing rooms is light variances, and shoppers can adjust the lighting of their preference while trying on items.

Through the connected mirror in the dressing rooms, customers can request additional items or different sizes. Those requests are sent to store associates, who are equipped with an internal tablet app that manages all in-store requests, and items are retrieved.

Shoppers will also notice there are no cash registers in the store, and they can begin their transaction in the dressing room and complete it with a stylist, who processes the purchase on a tablet.

In addition to the new store, eBay has also powered the new Rebecca Minkoff iOS app, which can be used for discovering new item options based on users’ personal shopping profiles built from their in-store selections.

When they enter a store, app users can check-in to the store they are in, lending associates the ability to view their personal profiles and deliver a customized experience based on their preferences.

Shoppers will also have the option to attach a fitting session to their Minkoff loyalty account so they can access their fitting room sessions in the app and online, in addition to allowing associates to see their purchases and fitting histories on the associate app and make recommendations in the future.

The eBay team conducted extensive research to provide the best experience for Rebecca Minkoff’s audience and found that lighting in dressing rooms and convenience were at the top of their lists.

Mr. Veres believes the connected store experience would be slightly different for a brand geared more towards a male audience. EBay’s abilities allow the team to personalize the connected store experience for any brand.

Below is a video of designer Rebecca Minkoff walking viewers through the new store.

Rebecca Minkoff NYC Retail Store

Continuing innovation
The Rebecca Minkoff brand is surely channeling mobile in its recent efforts, broadening its reach and appeal to customers.

This summer, the brand began a sweepstakes giveaway opportunity on May 28 for a pair of tickets to New York’s Governors Ball festival.

To push the festival-inspired clothing that Rebecca Minkoff offers, the brand welcomed Instagram posts tagging #RMGovBall to be eligible. The Governors Ball Music Festival is a three-day event at Randall’s Island Park in New York City that hosts musical performances of numerous styles, restaurant participations and food trucks and other fun activities (see story).

In 2013, the brand boosted digital promotions for its fall collection to target its younger, digital-savvy customers.

The label placed a large emphasis on its digital promotions for the collection, which it also shared on social media. Promoting new collections through digital platforms can help brands reach target consumers in a cost-effective way (see story).

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York