Is the future store digital or analogue ?


In my opinion, the bonprix fashion connect Store in Hamburg is currently the best answer to the question of how digital a fashion store must be to carry the “Future Retail” label and to be perceived as innovative both by the industry and the consumers. In Hamburg’s Mönckebergstrasse 11, bonprix has realized its e-commerce expertise in a physical store space for the first time. bonprix is one of Germany’s online shops with the highest turnover. After a two-year conception and test phase, the online fashion retailer is now officially a pioneer in the field of multichannel retail. Under the motto “fashion connect”, the internationally successful fashion company combines the advantages of stationary retailing with those of online shopping and stages current fashion trends in a special way using intuitive, digital technologies. The entire customer journey is connected- from stationary retail to online business. The innovative Future Store is consistently customer-centric, digital and, above all, adaptive. The focus lays on the further developed bonprix app which is intended to accompany customers smartly and navigate them through the shopping experience. The app is like a personal, digital shopping assistant. It serves both as an admission ticket and as a remote control. The unique shopping experience starts with the check-in via app. The smartphone is becoming a natural tool because the device is an essential part of the customers everyday life anyway.


I am sure that the future of retail lies in a perfect fusion of digital and analogue. The shop space serves as an analogue platform and stage for inspiration on current fashion themes. At bonprix, the smartphone comes into play as a navigator as soon as it “clicks” between the customer and an item. The costumer can scan the item´s QR code with her smartphone and the appropriate size is automatically placed in her virtual shopping basket. Without the hassle of lugging around, the orders are automatically on their way to the personalized changing room. The next stop in the store is the so-called Fashion Bar. Refreshing drinks, inspiring news and spontaneous conversations – this is where you meet and chat before going to the fitting room. At the same time, several monitors provide the customer with the latest news from the fashion industry while selected catwalk sounds increase the anticipation of the very own, private fashion session in the personalized fitting room. The extra generously designed changing room has been reserved for the customer since the check-in and welcomes them with the neatly placed items of the digital shopping bag. The cabins are equipped with pleasant ventilation and four selectable lighting scenarios to ensure that customers feel comfortable. But this is not where the experience ends: The room service gives the fitting a unique touch that we traditionally only know from an exclusive fashion boutique. Each of the 18 cabins is equipped with a large touch screen that allows to change the items. If you want to try an item in a different size, you just need a few taps on the touchscreen and your reorder is ready to be tried on in the optimal size. The fashion assistants in the store are always ready to respond and help. This means that personal fashion advice is just a push of a button away. If you decide to buy something at the end of your fashion session, you simply take your pieces with you and either pay via the app at the quick self-checkout or at a normal cash register. Quite deliberately, long queues are meant to be avoided through these simultaneous services.


In the future, retailers will have to rely on digital POS technologies that can be applied naturally in the store and in accordance with the learned user behavior. In the bonprix fashion connect store, the smartphone is used as a constant companion and optimal navigator. Moreover, everything digital has to run as an assistance program in the background and support the customer experience rather than distracting the consumer from her holistic shopping experience.



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