Crowdsourcing Style In-Store, by Customers

We all know about the impact that online user interfaces are having on style curation. Instead of relying on a bunch of stylists to decide what and how we wear our clothes, the internet is crowdsourcing style by customers and users. Numerous fashion sites like Polyvore and Modcloth have done showing how powerful this engagement model is.

But brick and mortar retailers have not moved nearly as quickly to adopt an approach t. Until now.

Adidas has plans for their new Neo stores (article in German) that will bring the online experience of curation off-line to the brick and mortar world. Relying on RFID and smartphone technology, store visitors will be able to quickly share their outfit experiments with their friends while Adidas will be able to log all of these experiments to discover emergent fashion combinations.

The one challenge we see with this approach is that the scanning of the combinations seems to be involuntary. We believe a big backlash could ensue if customers are not participating in the engagement willfully. It has to be an opt-in strategy instead of an opt-out.

In essence, Polyvore comes to brick and mortar.

Implications for retailers:

  • Learn from your customers. Discover emergent fashion trends from your customers and your product — what better way to learn
  • Create brand awareness and promotion subtly by leveraging your customers to share authentically
  • Capture authentic actions which will enhance the brand promotion
  • Some tech investment. Its not about new technology, but thinking creatively about existing tech.
  • Put power into the hands of your customers — enable them to be your advocates