advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Debenhams Gets Clever About Mobile Invisible Pop-Up Stores

Written by Evan Schuman
November 2nd, 2011

In unrelated trials this week, Debenhams—the UK’s second-largest department store—and eBay are trying to push the mobile limits of creating stores with no physical infrastructure. But unlike Web sites, these virtual stores exist in a specific place to which customers must travel. In Debenhams’ case, a human being at that location would see nothing, except other human beings oddly pointing their phones around the sky.

The virtual store is not new. In a much publicized trial this summer, Tesco re-created almost all of the merchandise from one of its stores as a series of high-res photographs with QR codes on the walls of a South Korean subway. But the Debenhams’ effort takes it farther than any other retailer.

At least consumers arriving at that subway would see pictures of products and could guess what to do. In the Debenhams’ trial, consumers were directed to very prominent street corners in London (Trafalgar Square), Manchester (Albert Square), Birmingham (Centenary Square), Cardiff (Cardiff Castle) and Glasgow (George Square). They then loaded a mobile app onto their phones. If the geolocation of the phones matched what the app had been programmed to look for, it would display a ghostly image of a dress.

One feature of the app, which pretty much requires a second person, is that it enables the customer to be filmed interacting with the invisible dress. The image “appears over the live camera feed, so users can either interact with the dress on its own or virtually try it on. The virtual fitting room really works best as a social experience, most shoppers opt to have a friend snap a photo of them trying on the virtual garment,” said Bill Irwin, who managed the Debenhams’ setup for Gold Rungo, the vendor the chain used for the trial.

If the customer has a friend with her, the customer can try and step into the dress so her friend can take a picture of the customer in that outfit.


advertisement

Comments are closed.

Newsletters

StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!
advertisement

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

StorefrontBacktalk
Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.