House of Fraser introduces beacon technology to mannequins

House of Fraser is introducing mannequins that can tell customers exactly what they are wearing and where the products can be found in store using beacon technology.

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The trial at its Aberdeen store uses VMBeacon technology, which can send information to consumers’ smartphones as they walk past. House of Fraser can choose what information is made available, such as further images, product details and price.

To access the information, customers will need to download an app from technology and design company Iconeme. The beacons then send out an alert to anyone with the app within a 50 metre range of the mannequins.

The service allows consumers to share products with friends via social media or save them to purchase later. It also offers customers the opportunity to buy the product direct from House of Fraser’s online store and access offers and rewards.

The aim is to provide retailers with more information on the shoppers passing by and visiting their stores, including details such as age, gender, what they looked at and whether a purchase was made. For consumers, they gain access to further product information, as well as offers only available via the app.

Andy Harding, executive director of multichannel at House of Fraser, says: “We are always looking at ways to integrate new and innovative technology to help maximise customer shopping experiences. With such demand for mobile devices it’s important we continue to bring new technology to our stores.”

Hawes & Curtis’ London store and Bentalls’ shop in Kingston upon Thames are also trialling the technology. Iconeme claims the service is a world first that will help retailers connect online with bricks and mortar stores.

The House of Fraser store in Aberdeen is where the retailer trials new technology and showcases exclusive online products from brands including Mary Portas, Michael Kors and Vivienne Westwood. Opened in October 2011, customers can shop the website via iPads and pick up online orders.

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