In the last 12 months, H&M has been unafraid to embrace change. The high street brand, that has become well known for investing in a sustainable fashion line is now offering its customers the opportunity to experience the smart mirror.
Trialling the mirror in their flagship store in Times Square, New York, the Swedish multinational clothing-retail company’s main objective was to offer their customers a new shopping experience. Developed by Microsoft and Swedish digital agencies, Visual Art and Ombori, the smart mirror combines voice and facial recognition to communicate with customers. One of its key features is that customers can use voice commands to take selfies that are then virtually integrated with the H&M catalogue. There is also an option for users to then download the image to their mobile phone via QR code.
According to Business Insider Deutschland, the mirror can also give out shopping tips and provide customers with various outfit suggestions, which can be ordered directly from the online shop using the QR code. On H&M’s latest venture, the Lebensmittelzeitung has reported that 86% of customers who took a selfie also ended up scanning the QR code and 10% registered for the newsletter.
On the innovation being experimented by H&M, Christian Bärwind, Industry Leader Retail at Google Germany, said the “voice control is still in its early stages.” It is true, the technology is still in its early stages. It only offers selfies or fashion inspirations, which most likely appeals to their demographics. But the potential to personalise consumer experience does make taking a chance on an intelligent mirror seem like a smart investment for the retail giant. The good news is that H&M is not the only high street brand experimenting with what retail tech has to offer. Zara has also been dipping its toe into the pool of innovation. They took a slightly different approach. Their smart mirror, which is located in their flagship store in London, doesn’t rely on voice control but recognises selected items from customers and it is with those items that it then creates a virtual outfit.
So if you are in NY be sure to pop in and try it out. And if you do, make sure that you take advantage of a discount of over 20% and free shipping costs if you subscribe to the H&M Newsletter via the mirror.
Founding editor-in-chief of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta is currently one of the leading influencers writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology. She has also given talks at Premiere Vision, Munich Fabric Start and Pure London, to name a few. Besides working as a fashion innovation consultant for various fashion companies like LVMH Atelier, Muchaneta has also contributed to Vogue Business, is a senior contributor at The Interline and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion, UAL.