New Beacon Technology …

New beacon technology, enabling shoppers to receive information from store mannequins, launches on the high street for the first time

Iconeme launches VMBeacon enabled mannequins in selected House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis and Bentalls stores
Iconeme, a technology and design company, is today launching its VMBeacon enabled mannequins in House of Fraser’s Online Store (Aberdeen) Hawes & Curtis (London), and Bentalls (Kingston upon Thames).* This is the first time that beacon technology has been used in store mannequins anywhere in world. Designed specifically for visual merchandising, the technology enables customers to receive details via their smartphone about the clothes on display and allows retailers to engage directly with consumers who are shopping in, or passing by, a store.

To access this technology, customers can download the free Iconeme app for iOS and Android, which they can then use while shopping in one of the participating retailers. When a customer with an Iconeme app is within a 50m range of the VMBeacon enabled mannequin, they will receive an automatic alert about the content they can access. This includes details about the clothes and accessories displayed, such as price and links to purchase the items directly from the retailer’s website, or where they can be found within the store. Shoppers can also see more detailed photos and descriptions of the products plus save looks for later, share with friends and access additional offers and rewards.

Jonathan Berlin, Co-founder of Iconeme, said: “This technology will change the way people shop on the high street, as it brings together both on and offline retail. Research shows that customers already use their smartphones while shopping in store, but until now, the retail industry hasn’t realised the full potential of this. The VMBeacon creates a completely new dimension to the shopping experience, by combining the consumer desire to be connected on the go, with the bricks and mortar store. House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis and Bentalls have recognised this opportunity and share our vision for the future.”

Andy Harding, Executive Director for Multi-Channel at House of Fraser, commented: “We are delighted to be one of the first retailers in the world to trial the new VMBeacon technology and Iconeme App at our Online Store in Aberdeen. We are always looking at ways to integrate new and innovative technology to help maximise customer shopping experiences. With such demand from mobile devices, it’s important we continue to bring new technology to our stores, and believe that the Iconeme App provides retailers with an opportunity to really engage with their customers.”

Edward Smith, Brand Manager of Hawes & Curtis, said: “We chose Iconeme because we want to develop a greater engagement with our customers. Our visual merchandising team help bring our product to life in the windows and now we can have a better understanding of how this impacts the man and woman in the street. The VMBeacon also works 24 hours a day, so we can have instant feedback and instant sales as a result of our displays, even if the store is closed. It’s a complete game-changer for the retail industry and we’re delighted to be in it from the start.”

The VMBeacon is installed directly into each mannequin or visual merchandising product and transmits information that has been programmed by the retailer via a secure web-portal. The retailer can choose what information is made available, plus also has access to analytic reports to gain customer insight and help improve service and sales. Reporting can include shopper details, such as age and gender, their location, what outfit was viewed and whether a purchase was made online. Shoppers however, have the ability to choose which of their details are made available, via their own privacy settings.

The Iconeme team will be working closely with House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis and Bentalls to ensure the successful implementation and usage of the VMBeacon in these stores. Iconeme is also rolling out the technology further in the near future, in partnership with several other retailers in the UK and US.

*The following stores will support the VMBeacon / Iconeme app at launch, with further stores soon to be announced:

– House of Fraser’s Online Store, Aberdeen
– Hawes & Curtis, Jermyn Street, London
– Bentalls, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

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