House of Fraser on why shoppable windows will become the ‘norm’ for UK retailers

Department store House of Fraser will be offering its customers shoppable windows this Black Friday (27 November) and its head of digital Sarah Bailie expects the technology to soon become the ‘norm’ for high street retailers.

Utilising augmented reality technology, the windows allow users of the House of Fraser app to scan a vinyl shape within the glass in exchange for a full list of the respective store’s Black Friday deals. Customers can then avoid the Black Friday queues and only need to collect in-store.

Each shoppable window user will also be added into a competition to win a £250 gift card as an added incentive to use the service.

House of Fraser had previously only trialled the ‘window shopping’ technology but Bailie says that its success will mean it becomes a permanent feature after the Black Friday experience ends. This will start with shoppable window displays around its premium ‘The House Edit’ clothing range.

Bailie told Marketing Week: “We want to bring a whole new dimension to the term window shopping. I see this as something that will be permanent across all of our stores as it means the offline world is always open and can start to join up, but also compete, with the online side of our business.

“People want to look at product information such as sizes and product composition without actually going into the store. That’s a widespread need so I’d expect shoppable windows to become the norm for all retailers. It just makes sense as it adds yet another opportunity to generate sales.”

Black Friday

Bailie says House of Fraser, which offers online and offline deals around Black Friday, expects earlier Christmas spending habits to make 2015 “the biggest” event yet.

However she concedes the adopted US spending day, which has seen controversy after Asda stopped Black Friday promotions in its stores following chaotic scenes among customers, will need to evolve if it is to get rid of “negative connotations.”

She concludes: “Brits like a clear point of difference, they don’t just want a carbon copy of the US experience. I don’t think Black Friday is going anywhere in the UK but we’ll just see it evolve once it beds in so there’s more of a British feel to it.”

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