A fashion student’s ode to the physical store…
Studying fashion in the 21st Century could be likened to running after a bullet train.
As fashion is evolving so fast we are striving to keep up with the changes. Technology is currently evolving through the introduction of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) and the high street is almost out of breath trying to keep up. AR has been used by brands to try and keep the essence of in store purchasing alive, Charlotte Tilbury used ‘Magic Mirrors’ to engage a relationship and connection with her consumer in store by using the mirror to apply makeup to the face without having to use product itself. The use of a tactic like this is to create a memory for the customer in their long-term memory so that they will form loyalty and a connection to the brand.
However, even with these marketing techniques being used by brands to keep their customers in store, research shows that consumers are wanting to remain in the comfort of their own homes when purchasing, in 2017 it was reported that 51% of us would rather shop online than in store (ecommercenews, 2017).
Can we sit here and watch the death of the high street though? From a fashion student’s perspective, the answer is no.
The experience of shopping for fashion cannot die, luxury consumers will continue to shop in store whether it is 2018 or 2080 as the curated experience for consumers is part of what they will spend their money on, whether it is a Louis Vuitton leather suitcase or a Louis Vuitton key ring, the personalised service will continue to allow consumers to bite into a piece of the brand, which purchasing the suitcase online won’t.
Both print and shopping are said to be ‘dying a death’, as a fashion student I cannot see this happening, as we continue to keep updated online through news and social media; we will never stop purchasing a copy of Vogue due to the relationship and connection we have with a print publication as well as the aspect of a keepsake. The same goes for commerce, we simply cannot resist the pleasure of personalised connections, the sensory experience, the feeling of walking out with the product, and a juicy bite of brand we get each time, which cannot yet be done through clicking ‘Add To Basket’.