Have you ever visited a shopping mall after closing time? Or walked through a street with empty stores? Often this is very depressing. It’s abandoned, because there is simply nothing to do. Digital storefronts can contribute to a lively surrounding, even when stores are closed or empty.
What is it?
Digital storefronts are touchscreen store windows made from connected glass. These windows provide customers with a virtual shop within a real mall or shopping street. It’s interactive and never closed. It’s online shopping, with an offline experience.
Westfield San Francisco Centre
How does it work?
Customers see these digital store windows and can swipe through a virtual collection. Whether it’s after closing time or not and whether the store behind the window is empty or very crowded, this digital storefront is always open. It’s window-shopping 2.0! If customers see something that they like, they can hit the ‘order’ button and a link will be sent to their mobile phone. That way, people can pay in private with Paypal for example.
What is its core value?
To use the words of Steve Yankovich, eBay vice president of innovation and also the man that partnered with the retail experience firm Westfield Labs to launch a series of digital storefronts at the Westfield San Francisco Center: “It brings the best of online and new technologies to the physical world”.