November 5th, 2014 There’s More To A HoF Mannequin Than Meets The Eye

Ever been walking around the shops and had your eye drawn to a jaw-dropping outfit modelled by one of the many in-store mannequins, only to be frustrated by the fact you can’t actually find the clothes anywhere? Answering the call of disgruntled customers everywhere, retail giants House of Fraser have announced the introduction of in-store beacon technology, which we love!

As a shining example of omni-channel brilliance, customers will now benefit from mannequins with a techy twist. The tech, initially being trialled at their Aberdeen store, will use VMBeacon technology, to send information on where to find the outfit modelled on the mannequin within the store – pretty nifty!

The only drawback to the HoF customer experience is that shoppers have to download the Iconeme app before the beacons can work their magic. Are HoF customers really going to do this? Undeniably some will, but as much as we love the concept, surely it would have been even better if the experience was integrated into the HoF app that shoppers know and love. This is the approach Open Reply is taking when working with its Retail clients in collaboration with Reply’s own beacon technology provider Engage Reply.

Relying on customers to download a totally separate app takes away from the seamless and unified approach that modern customers expect and we think this will prove a real barrier to its success.  Is it going to be intuitive, and more importantly a good brand experience for the customer to move between one app and another, or worse the web with little reception, if they want to purchase any item they see on the mannequin?

With a growing reputation for omni-channel excellence to uphold, it looks like House of Fraser may have missed the mark with their latest venture. We agree that the tech is creatively interactive and is sure to get customers and the industry talking, but we can’t help but think it could have been even better!

We wait to see the results of this latest beacon trial!