German fashion chain Bonprix (a subsidiary of Otto Group) is opening an innovative test store on 14 February. The store, located in Hamburg, will allow customers to shop through an app - showing how digital shopping works in practice.
Personal shopping assistant
The Fashion Connect Store is an experimental store concept that combines the advantages of a physical store with the ease of online shopping, an idea Bonprix recently introduced at the #fashiontech Berlin event. The Bonprix smartphone app serves as a personal shopping assistant, guiding customers through the entire visit: from checking in upon arrival over trying on items to simple payment solutions.
Each item of clothing and accessory is represented by a single example displayed on the inspiring 'trend floor', which functions more or less as a showroom. Customers can scan items they like and select the right size. The items are then added to a virtual shopping cart, so they can be brought to a fitting room, ready to be tried on. Customers can enjoy a refreshing beverage in one of the store's two fashion bars while they wait.
Experimental store lab
Next, the client will be invited into one of the fitting rooms: spacious and well ventilated, they offer four settings for mood lighting. A large screen displays the next steps. If you need another size, you can order it right away from inside the fitting room. If you need help or advice, you can summon a fashion adviser at the push of a button. Forget queues at the checkout: the app uses the latest RFID tech to update the shopping cart automatically when you leave the fitting room. You can pay through PayPal or using a credit card at the self-checkout.
The Fashion Connect concept is more than a flagship for Bonprix: it is an experimental store lab, which will be adding new functions along the way, such as personalised suggestions. "Bonprix has given the smartphone a central role in this pilot store precisely because it is so omnipresent these days," says managing director Markus Fuchshofen, who is also head of e-commerce. "The way we have digitised the shopping process is unique in retail."