Smartphone owners in the U.S. and U.K. believe that they will spend about $20.4 billion using their phones this holiday season, according to research from Apigee. Up to $7.7 billion of this total would be through apps. As a result, retailers are striving to create compelling and memorable app experiences to boost engagement and mobile sales.
Luxury fashion retailer Neiman Marcus is bridging the digital and brick-and-mortar worlds with Snap. Find. Shop. Now available through the Neiman Marcus app, Snap. Find. Shop. is 3-D visual fashion search and purchase tool that allows consumers to snap an image of fashion items and receive similar products available on the Neiman Marcus e-Commerce site. The feature uses technology from visual search firm Slyce.
The first luxury retailer to implement visual search technology, Neiman Marcus allows users to search products using real-life items and printed images without defining categories or refining searches. Once photos are captured, consumers can shop recommended products and complete purchases within the app.
Neiman Marcus sought to create a more connected shopping experience as its online and mobile businesses continued to grow. Last year, the retailer’s online business surpassed the $1 billion mark, and more consumers are using their phones and tablets to shop, according to Wanda Gierhart, CMO of Neiman Marcus Group. “We also know that 70% of our customers conduct research online before they ever come into a store to shop.
Of all benefits, the core value of Snap. Find. Shop. is that it “provides the immediate gratification our customer desires,” Gierhart said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “With the growth of mobile use in the shopping process, this cuts down having to type a physical search.”
Currently available within the shoe and handbag departments, Snap. Find. Shop. will expand to new categories in the near future.
“We only have anecdotal feedback at this point from our customers, which has been very positive,” Gierhart said. “There are not any categories we sell that this could not be expanded into, we will evaluate the usage and determine where to go next.”
Although Snap. Find. Shop is still relatively knew, Gierhart noted that the Neiman Marcus team will continue to educate consumers about the tool and its value leveraging a variety of different marketing techniques.
Initially, Neiman Marcus was developing solutions to address consumers’ need for instant mobile gratification internally. The retailer partnered with Slyce after a representative from the Neiman Marcus Innovation Lab met with a representative at a conference.
“We spent about nine months testing the technology,” Gierhart explained. “Slyce developed a demo for us that all of our senior executives tried out.”