Edge of Innovation

DS Group’s Digital Boutique: the future of fashion retail powered by Intel

Fashion is undoubtedly an ever-changing sector with its new trends, renewal and transformation. On the technology front, the digital transformation of the fashion industry is an increasing phenomenon and a growing number of companies reckons it is an opportunity for competitiveness and growth. Consumers, already used to a much more efficient and emotional e-commerce, are very demanding in terms of modernization and digitization of the in-store experience.

While on one hand the continuous innovation of digital sector will probably move shopping to the electronic network, on the other the online shopping addicts feel a void as big as a fitting room between the click, the e-mail compliance and the purchase confirmation. In other words, when it comes to top fashion brands, the retail experience is essential, but technology can contribute to improve it. We have had an important demonstration of it with the presentation of the DS Group’s Digital Boutique powered by Intel.

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What it offers

Founded over twenty years ago to offer mobile business solutions, DS Group shows a growing interest in Fashion and Luxury, and it does so by presenting its vision of the future of retail. In a space inside its Milan office, DS Group created the prototype of a digital store. It is an area created by the designer Alessandro Luciani, inspired by the luxury boutiques, within which it is possible to experience the innovative solutions offered by the implementation of the top technologies in collaboration with leading companies such as Intel, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Microsoft, Motorola, Zebra Technologies, 3M, Ingenico. The idea behind DS Group’s evolving project is to combine the physical and the digital shopping experiences with cloud and mobile technologies, big data management and analytics, digital installations and cutting-edge devices. The Digital Boutique combines retail and e-commerce to achieve the most excellent in-store digital experience, mainly intended for the Luxury and Fashion sectors. Luxottica, Valentino, Pinko, Calzedonia are some of the brands that have already adopted DS Group’s solutions, and other major international brands have expressed interest in the company’s technology proposals.

Romeo Quartiero, President and CEO of DS Group, presents the solution as “a practical help to companies in the fashion industry, a strategic one for the Made in Italy, useful to achieve their fundamental brand reputation and business objectives, because the Digital Boutique significantly contributes to improve efficiency and productivity and reduce costs.”

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How it works

The service involves the customer from his entrance into the store to the time of payment. A router will detect the Wi-Fi connection and, according to the strength of the signal, will recognize if the person is inside or outside the shop. In this phase, the data are analyzed in an anonymous and aggregated way (Store Analytics and Virtual Check-In). Furthermore, the customer receives on his mobile the ability to connect to the web services of the Digital Boutique and get personalized offers. In the next step, the customer profile is refined. The cameras installed in the store frame the people present in the shop, without record anything, and read the facial features in order to determine gender, age, physical characteristics of the customers, thanks to the Intel® technology for the Interactive Digital Signage. This allows to customize the delivery of advertising content straight to their address. For example, a display within the Boutique is capable of showing different videos depending on who is watching it, whether it is a man or a woman.  Totems and displays enrich the usual physical experience of customers with additional digital, multimedia and interactive information. The totems within the store run on Intel® NUC (Next Unit of Computing) devices. This mini PC ensures reliability, energy efficiency, noise cancellation, and a support to all the required functionality, and fits in the palm of your hand.

In the Digital Boutique, totems and displays occupy the entire perimeter creating a Hybrid Shop Experience: the e-commerce experience applied directly in the store. In addition, the fitting rooms (Smart Dressing Room) are equipped with a screen where you can see the data related to the item that you are trying on, thanks to the NFC and RFID tags systems. The information provided to the customers are numerous and customized according to their needs.  The big data collected by the different implemented technologies are linked by the proprietary platform Combenia, which is able to gather and connect all the collected data. Sales associates can access the customers’ data and execute real time CRM using practical mobile devices based on Intel’s processor technology. Finally, you can perform contactless payments or via your mobile, as well.

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Intel has tangibly contributed to realize the DS Group Digital Boutique, with the aim of enhancing the digital transformation that is revolutionizing the shopping experience nowadays. We believe that the current technologies that enable such a transformation should focus on people and their needs, ensuring advantages that were unthinkable few years ago. Intel’s approach to technologies design – even for the retail industry – gives importance to this aspect, always paying proper attention to customers and making the use of technological devices as immediate as possible. On the other hand, the business potential in the retail sector, deriving from the adoption of innovative approaches in customers interaction, confirms the importance of a progressive integration of the digital experience with traditional shopping”, said Carmine Stragapede, General Manager of Intel Italy.

Future developments

By observing the prototype, it is not hard to imagine how the future retails will be and what they will offer consumers, in terms of not only experience but also functionality, and how useful they could be for the shop staff. The DS Group’s project is constantly in progress to implement new solutions for the fashion retail, and to increasingly intensify the dialogue between technologies, with the aim to obtain more precise and complex information, while complying with customer respect and protection.An open and dynamic approach that certainly benefits innovation, for a proposal that gets inspiration from both present and future.

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