Tommy Hilfiger is unveiling its Fall 2017 line today with a "see-now, buy-now" runway show that targets the brand’s mobile users with a shoppable reveal, according to a company email to Retail Dive. The decision comes off of a successful partnership with tech startup Slyce for the retailer’s Venice, CA, fashion show.
According to Ted Mann, CEO of Slyce, the show is called "TommyNow Rock Circus" and takes advantage of mobile visual search and image recognition tools to allow attendees to shop the looks on display simply by taking photos of the items.
The products will be available "instantaneously" on the retailer’s website, through the Tommy Hilfiger mobile app and at Tommy Hilfiger stores "in over 70 countries," according to the email.
Tommy Hilfiger’s shoppable fashion show marks a natural progression from its efforts to speed up availability of new lines last year. While 2016's efforts meant new styles were available in stores and online as soon as they were shown on the runway, the brand has taken it a step further this year by making the show itself a mobile-friendly, conveniently shoppable event.
In addition to using the retailer’s "Snap the Look" feature, customers will also be able to see a feed of all of the fashion photos taken during the show and shop products from those, as well. These strategies mirror efforts in the luxury space more broadly, as upscale retailers continue to modernize (and therefore shorten) the traditionally long runway-to-storefront time frame.
Similar mobile-friendly shopping events have been used in the past by Victoria’s Secret, and most recently Bloomingdale’s and Cotton Inc, which co-hosted a 1-minute shoppable fashion show just two weeks ago.
These mobile-specific plays are most likely an attempt to engage millennials and Gen Z, the youngest and most tech-savvy generations. This latest app is intended for year-round use and, according to Mann, "uses visual search and visual commerce as the main method for discover[y]."
"What's so interesting about TommyNow Snap is that it's entirely built around visual search and visual commerce," Mann said. "Everything — camera search for products, AR for the virtual runway, social shopping from Instagram photos — revolves around the camera."
Trying to connect with younger generations through their smartphones isn’t a bad play on the part of Tommy Hilfiger. Not only are the members of Gen Z more attached than ever to their mobile phones — they convert twice as much on mobile as any other generation — but the youngest generation is also more likely to buy luxury items than their millennial counterparts.
Whether or not that final trend will last once Gen Z grows up and becomes more financially independent remains to be seen, but whichever way you slice it, user experience is a must for retailers hoping to reach the generation. According to ContentSquare, 60% of the generation won’t use an app or website that’s too slow to load and 62% won’t use an app that’s difficult to navigate.
In order for shoppable events to be worthwhile for young consumers, retailers should make sure that all touch points along the path to purchase are both convenient and easy to understand.