While the retail industry comes to terms with its need to innovate, some brands are finding that great aspirations aren’t all that matters.
Speed does, too.
With that in mind, some companies are making aggressive moves to adopt new in-store solutions as quickly as possible. As GeoMarketing points out, Neiman Marcus has taken this commitment to heart, making rapid strides in brick-and-mortar innovation to transform its more than 40 U.S. physical locations.
Neiman Marcus is investing into several different technologies, including wireless communications tools and smart mirrors, in hopes that they will create a better consumer experience, and do so faster than their competition.
But this is a process easier said than done. Adopting new technologies always comes with periods of adjustment and pilot programs designed to fine-tune solutions before their company-wide deployment.
Fast-Tracking Mobile Advancements
According to Scott Emmons, who leads the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab, the timeline for deploying a smart mirror was far more aggressive than what other retailers might choose.
“We went incredibly fast on this,” Emmons told GeoMarketing. “The time frame from paper concept — this is what we want to do — to approval and, then, to our first 20 mirrors being built from scratch, followed by the physical deployment all took just six weeks.”
Meanwhile, Emmons said he continues to work on proof-of-concepts for other solutions that could transform the retail space. The results can be mixed: Some receive a strong reception, while others don’t inspire the same.
Emmons’ job, of course, is to continue developing new innovations that meet the demands of consumers while also winning the favor of company decision-makers. For solutions ranging from in-store augmented reality to clienteling technology like Concierge, the value might be clear to certain executives, but adoption depends on making a successful case for how that solution can increase in-store ROI.
In-store innovation remains an ongoing experiment, but the example set by Neiman Marcus suggests that when retailers decide to green-light these solutions, they can improve their returns by accelerating their deployment.