Retailer True Religion’s Apple Watch application enables store associates to easily sift through various sizes, styles and colors of jeans to find what a shopper might like and send the image to a monitor so the item can be easily inspected and then purchased via an on-screen bar code.
True Religion worked with Aptos Inc. and Formula 3 Group to develop the new endless aisle solution, bringing the retailer’s full range of products into its 1,500 square foot stores. The Apple Watch app, called Band, integrates with the Aptos Enterprise Order Management and Mobile Store Point of Sale solutions, and will soon roll out to 30 stores.
“We look at endless aisle not for ‘save the sale,’ but to create new sales and opportunities across the fleet,” said John Hazen, vice president of omnichannel commerce and digital innovation at True Religion.
“When we first had it and were testing it out, we wondered: Was it gimmicky? Would it work? This is working out; we’re bullish on it,” he said. “We plan to roll out Apple Watch band to our top 30 stores by the end of the quarter.”
Single view of inventory
Swiping a finger across the Apple Watch screen, True Religion store associates can access a single view of inventory and use a visual merchandising tool to view, filter and quickly locate the size, style, color and wash a customer might be interested in.
The app leverages intuitive search functionality and immediate access and visibility to real-time inventory across the entire True Religion product catalog.
Once the relevant items have been located, associates can send the merchandise image from the watch to a large high-definition monitor for the customer to view. The image includes a bar code that can be scanned via an Aptos mobile POS device to complete the sale.
After purchase, items are shipped directly to a customer’s home.
The strategy is the latest example of how mobile devices are helping retailers unite their online and in-store inventories to provide the best possible experience for shoppers.
While True Religion works to localize its product selection, the new Apple Watch app will help it insure it does not have to turn away customers because a desired item is not in stock.
True Religion reports that, since introducing the app, in-store customer engagement and conversion rates are higher and the number of endless aisle transactions has increased significantly.
A number of retailers have introduced iPhone and other mobile devices in their stores to help associates in their interactions with shoppers. Reimagining this experience for the Apple Watch helps the retailer show shoppers it is embracing the latest technology.
A year ago, The Home Depot introduced the next generation of a smartphone designed specifically for store associates, who can help customers locate products, check inventory on hand, explain product features, communicate via walkie-talkie, conduct business analytics and check out customers (see story).
Prior to the Apple Watch band app, True Religion had kiosks in the store to support endless aisle.
“We’ve seen significant returns – a large increase, north of 100 percent in stores that have kiosks versus those that didn’t, and we wanted to push the limits of what we were doing with endless aisle by putting the entire inventory of the fleet on the wrist of an associate,” Mr. Hazen said. “We wanted to give store associates their ‘Vanna White moment’ to engage with customers.
“This is delivering a high-touch concierge-type of experience to our customers.”