To lure shoppers into stores, retailers must rely on more than window displays. Today’s highly digital apparel consumer can be reached through a variety of media formats. Retailers who limit their efforts to broadcast advertising are missing their chance to increase sales and will lose market share to competitors who are successfully navigating technology-based solutions.

A recent report appearing in In The Stores highlighted how apparel retailers can successfully build relationships with and increase sales to  the new ‘omni-shopper’ – the one who uses multiple channels to research a store and its offerings before she walks through the door. The report discusses the following methods being used by retailers today:

  • Digital Signage: Simon Spurr installed computer equipment in his store window and streamed his runway show during fashion week, live, to passersby. And, Macy’s is allowing shoppers to browse outfits by interacting with mirrors in the dressing rooms. This option, Magic Fitting Room, has proved successful with younger consumers, the Millennials.
  • Social Media: Retailers who clearly cater to younger demographics, think BabyPhat.com, are embracing the latest offering by Facebook. Using Facebook Commerce, friends of BabyPhat.com are encouraged to “use Facebook fan sites to sell merchandise.”
  • Mobile Apps: Retailers are increasingly launching mobile shopping apps. But the true goal of many of these apps is to approach a one-to-one marketing relationship with the customer. Experts like Shaun Schooley, vice president of client success at MyBuys.com, believes that smartphones will allow for the kind of personalization that will prompt shoppers to buy.

At the intersection of social media and mobile apps, geo-location solutions are rapidly evolving. As consumers check in to various locations, they can be persuaded to personally visit a store. The persuasion may occur in the form of a coupon or free gift but the shopper  may then proceed to buy an item once they are in the bricks and mortar location.

[Source: Digital Shoppers. In The Stores.com. February 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011]