General Pants gives in-store shoppers iPad assistants

General Pants gives in-store shoppers iPad assistants
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General Pants last night unveiled its General Pants Kiosks aimed at changing and enhancing the shopping in-store experience for Australian consumers.

Displayed on Apple iPads, the General Pants interactive kiosks fuse music, fashion and social media to create an experience that guides, informs and entertains consumers. The launch of kiosks marks more than six months of development to create an omni-channel platform that marries together online and offline to deliver a next generation shopping experience for consumers. Insights analytics over the past year have proven pivotal in delivering a solution that has exactly the right level of engagement for the General Pants Co. consumer.

Digital Artists Network (DAN) was the lead technical and creative partner on the project. The Whybin/TBWA-owned agency’s innovation was pivotal in the creation of insta-opinion.

Responsys enabled the automation of individualised communications to consumers, while hybris and Epicor platforms enabled General Pants to integrate its ecommerce and ERP solutions into the kiosks. As well as the ERP platform, Epicor provides the tools that enable the unification of inventory across all the sales channels.

At the core of the kiosks are centralised management systems and data analysis tools that allow General Pants to guide, connect with and react to the consumer shopping journey like never before.

Each of the kiosks will have the following functions:

Insta-Opinion: Almost everyone needs a second opinion when trying on a new outfit, but there’s not always someone available to give an honest view on the potential purchase and the General Pants clientele aren’t camera shy. Aptly named Insta-Opinion, this section of the kiosk allows consumers to photograph themselves in an item or hold an item up in front of the camera they’re considering purchasing and submit that photo in real-time for feedback from other kiosk users, approximately 300 devices across the country. In seconds, the kiosk user will see a percentage of who’s given their outfit the thumbs up or thumbs down.

What’s Playing: Music and shopping go hand-in-hand and with the introduction of the kiosks consumers can now select what tracks gets played in store. General Pants has collaborated with The Naked and Famous to create playlists exclusively available to consumers via the What’s Playing section of the kiosks. The kiosk user selects the track that they would like to hear which then goes into a queue to be broadcast through the speakers across the whole General Pants store.

The What’s Playing function is powered by Spotify, and if you want more tracks added to the kiosk all you have to do is #GPRequests on twitter and your tracks will be added to the playlist for next time you come in and shop.

Our Picks features the latest curated trends in clothing and accessories which consumers can choose to browse, purchase in-store, email to themselves or order from the kiosk and have their items shipped directly to the their home. Kiosk users will be able to select individual items from the campaign shoots, press the ‘help’ button, the music will dip and a chime rings and a General Pants staff member will be over to assist the consumer and find the exact or similar item.

Our People: Our People will curate user-generated photographs from Our Crew (General Pants Staff) and You (customers) featuring their self-created General Pants looks that have been shared across Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram. Kiosk users can browse through the user-generated images and purchase General Pants product that features in the photograph. This consumer-to-consumer shopping brings to life the street-styled looks that are synonymous with General Pants Co. All consumers have to do to join in the fun is #generalpants and they too could feature across all the General Pants channels.

What’s New: What’s New features all the latest clothing and accessories that have just arrived at General Pants, sorted alphabetically by brand for ease and updated on a daily basis. This will enable shoppers to see product that is available across all our stores, allowing General Pants to showcase everything ‘New’ without it taking up valuable retail space. Again when a customer zeros in on something they like they have the option of assistance, sending the product to their phone our purchasing it on the spot for delivery to their home.

What’s Happening: General Pants thrives on being a creative hub both in stores as well as the head office. ‘What’s Happening’ is a curation of the GP marketing, buying team and the store crew contributing to what is happening in the business. This section of the site tells you when the next concert tickets go on sale, shows you the latest exclusive collaboration, new product that has just arrived in store and any famous people that have dropped by to say ‘hi’ and or behind the scenes of what goes on in the General Pants world. There is no one editor, nor one right opinion, this section of the Kiosks is about collating the ideas of ‘everyone’ that works at General Pants nationwide.

Our Site: A version of the General Pants e-commerce site where consumers can browse through all clothing and accessories. If consumers have seen something online at home but can’t find it in store this can also use as a tool to show the crew what they have seen.

Help: Assistance is never far away with the kiosk help button. Each time the kiosk user has found an item of clothing they’d like to try on, would like a fashion recommendation from the General Pants Crew or they need some assistance navigating the kiosk they can press the Help button. As soon as the help button is pressed the in-store music dips down, a chime rings out and a General Pants staff member promptly approaches the customer for assistance.

General Pants CEO Craig King said of the launch “There are plenty of buzz words going around, omni –channel, bricks and clicks, user experience etc. Rather than fall into a category we took a step back and focused on what our customers were doing. We asked ourselves what are we doing for them, how can we better communicate our stories and how do we enrich their experience? Our responses helped conceptualise the kiosks.

What’s exciting about retail now is that technology has caught up to imagination. This opens the door to endless possibilities but rather than drown your customers in tech it’s a chance to seamlessly engage them in your brand whilst merging with current social phenomena. We have taken key insights we have learnt in recent years and used these to develop the kiosks. We have made sure they encompass everything our consumer has been asking for, including social integration, time poor options for shopping, peer to peer shopping, music, fashion, technology and entertainment all curated by the ‘global trend hunters’ the General Pants team.”

Liz Harper, general manager of Digital Arts Network said “We’re incredibly excited to launch this in-store innovation as the creative and technical build partner for the General Pants Kiosks. At DAN we solve business challenges with technology; this was a fantastic brief to do just that.”

The kiosks will initially be installed in 10 General Pants stores across NSW and rolled out to its 47 stores nationally by February 2014.

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