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UK retailers install hi-tech mannequins that let customers buy what they see in the window

ENGAGE: Iconeme BLE beacons allow retailers to engage with consumers in store or those just passing by
ENGAGE: Iconeme beacons allow retailers to connect with consumers in store or passing by

UK retailers House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis and Bentalls are using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons installed in display mannequins to let customers get information about outfits displayed in their shop windows and around their stores, receive special offers and buy items with their mobile phone.

“Designed specifically for visual merchandising, the technology enables customers to receive details via their smartphone about the clothes on display and allows retailers to engage directly with consumers who are shopping in, or passing by, a store,” technology supplier Iconeme explains.

Shoppers need to download Iconeme’s iOS or Android app to use the service. They will then receive an alert whenever they come within 50 metres of a mannequin equipped with an Iconeme VMBeacon.

“The retailer can choose what information is made available, plus also has access to analytic reports to gain customer insight and help improve service and sales,” Iconeme says.

“Reporting can include shopper details, such as age and gender, their location, what outfit was viewed and whether a purchase was made online. Shoppers however, have the ability to choose which of their details are made available, via their own privacy settings.”

Alerts can include “details about the clothes and accessories displayed, such as price and links to purchase the items directly from the retailer’s website, or where they can be found within the store. Shoppers can also see more detailed photos and descriptions of the products, save looks for later, share with friends and access additional offers and rewards,” the company adds.

A video shows the service in action:

“We are delighted to be one of the first retailers in the world to trial the new VMBeacon technology and Iconeme app at our online store in Aberdeen,” says Andy Harding, executive director for multi-channel at House of Fraser.

“With such demand from mobile devices, it is important we continue to bring new technology to our stores, and believe that the Iconeme app provides retailers with an opportunity to really engage with their customers.”

“We chose Iconeme because we want to develop a greater engagement with our customers,” adds Edward Smith, b​rand m​anager at Hawes & Curtis. “Our visual merchandising team help bring our​ product to life in the windows, and now we can have a better understanding of how this impacts the man and woman in the street.

“The VMBeacon also works 24 hours a day, so we can have instant feedback and instant sales as a result of our displays​, even if the store is closed. It’s a complete game-changer for the retail industry and we’re delighted to be in it from the start.”

The technology is currently active in House of Fraser’s concept store in Aberdeen, Hawes & Curtis’ store in London and Bentalls in Kingston upon Thames. Iconeme will also be rolling out the solution to other retailers in the UK and US in the “near future”.

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