Retail Innovation

March - Innovation in Retail

March provided some new developments in the online space. Fierce competition is effecting some online sectors, such as fashion apparel which has seen an explosion in on-line fashion businesses. For that reason large dollars are being invested in new technology in order to protect their market share by enhancing the shopping experience. Despite the general saturation in the fashion space, the online menswear retail market has enjoyed solid growth over the past five years, due to a surge in demand from fashion-conscious male consumers.

This trend is expected to continue as research house IbisWorld suggests that men are generally less interested in the social aspect of shopping and happy if they can spend less time to find what they are looking. Technology that saves time permits male consumers to purchase from the comfort of home or office. In line with this, smart e-tailers are looking at ways to encourage customers to convert browsing into a sale.

One example of keeping at the forefront of on-line retail technology is the release by InStitchu of 3D body scanners that can measure customers for a custom suit. The new 3D body scanners, which have begun rolling out to shopping centres around the country, would help Australian men design a suit tailored to their exact measurements in a matter of minutes.

Another development to aid the online conversion, is the Paypal launch of the fingerprint payment authentication application on the Samsung Galaxy 5. The biometric feature means users will no longer need to remember passwords or login details across millions of PayPal merchants.

Success also comes with scale such as with Swedish fashion house H&M which continues the multi-channel approach. The group has planned increased presence in both bricks and mortar stores and their on line presence in Asia and online. According to management in 2013 the group had 3132 stores globally with plans for a further 375 in 2014, including outlets in new markets such as India, the Philippines, and Australia.

It will be interesting to read of the take up of the new technology but the research suggests that as new generations are more comfortable with on line buying and new technologies the success of innovation will translate to revenue improvement.