Last month Google highlighted what it believes to be a big emerging trend: O2S(online-to-store) -shoppers researching online and buying in store (Google emphasized the need for integrated retail – online and traditional retail working together). The use of Google Maps as a search engine and the success of RedLaser, the popular mobile barcode reader app (one million downloads in the last month, 950K active users, 50 million product scans) are examples of the O2S trend.
But how can brands harness the O2S trend – apart from offering store and store inventory information online? One new solution for retail brands has just been deployed by Italian fashion brand Diesel in Spain; a Facebook Photo Mirrorthat brings Facebook to the fitting room and allows in-store shoppers to snap a photo of themselves trying on Diesel gear in a fitting room and post it directly to their Facebook profiles, ostensibly to ‘friend-source’ feedback and advice on what to buy in real time (or just for fun).
Dubbed ‘Diesel Cam’, and installed in fitting rooms in Diesel’s Spanish store – the Facebook Photo Mirror includes an interactive terminal that allows shoppers annotate, crop and publish photos (logging in via Facebook Connect).
It’s an interesting idea that has potential as a great way of getting shoppers to advertise Diesel gear to their friends. In reality, getting a friend to snap a picture on a social network-enabled mobile phone would probably be easier (a la JustBought.It), than messing with virtual keyboards in-store.
Nevertheless, with a little imagination (see Cisco video below), it’s possible to see how this kind of social shopping solution could lead to a Minority Report-style social shopping experience…
One opportunity for brands looking to build on both the O2S trend and taking Diesel’s “Mirror, mirror on the (Facebook) wall, who is the fairest of them all?” POS installation as inspiration, would be to auto-insert viral coupons to photos posted to Facebook profiles (for redeeming in-store or on Facebook stores). A sales hook such as this would help ROI calculations.
Another way would be for the Facebook mirror to show customer reviews and or Facebook ‘Likes’ of products being tried on (building on Sephora‘s in-store use of customer reviews (mobile/on the shelf, and Levi’s recent deployment of Facebook social plugins on its e-commerce site).
Another solution for online retailers could be to extend the Facebook mirror solution to virtual fitting rooms, using technology such as Zugura‘s Social Shopper already deployed on a number of e-commerce sites (video).