Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ guest post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP, on last week’s experiential retail pop-up from FINERY LONDON
A good pop-up still has its place and this one blends a few retail trends at once. As a taster prior to its launch onto the ‘premium high-street’, last week online fashion site Finery London opened a week-long pop-up showroom that mixed physical creativity with digital experimentalism.
Visitors to the tiny Greek Street store could see the label’s resort collection shown on a revolving carousel, set against a backdrop displaying the creative process behind the Finery London team’s design journey, eg sketches, patterns, branding ideas. From the street, visitors could swipe through an interactive look book and find a discount code (for early bird shopping) hidden on a screen in the window using motion-sensing technology connected to their devices.
“Creating an online audience can start just as effectively with an experience in the physical world, and for an online-only fashion brand like Finery London, we wanted to make the product tangible, visible and highly desirable to Londoners,” says Thea Frost, partner at Somewhat, the digital agency responsible for the digital concept. “The interactive screen mechanic reminds visitors that Finery is a digital brand and allows them to browse as they would on the website,” she adds.
After trialing the site among early adopters in December, Finery London launches properly on February 5th. With a team comprising of Caren Downie (ex-fashion director at ASOS), Rachel Morgan (former head womenswear buyer also at ASOS) and Emma Farrow (until recently Topshop’s design director), the brand’s fashion-forward ethos is well considered. Farrow says Finery London has launched as an antidote to the current lack of femininity elsewhere on the high-street. “It’s about flattering the female form,” she says adding the brand has a London feel but is “a little bit quirky and not too serious,” according to a report on the Business of Fashion.
ASK ALISON: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
This pop-up reflects the retail trend for interactive billboards that is breathing new life into the pop-up genre. Finery London’s launch onto the market is a clever mix of creative storytelling and digital experimentalism. Showrooming retail tactics blend a physical presence with digital discovery-commerce. By encouraging early adopter shopping on the site through simple rewards, the campaign is a great example of how to utilise social-commerce from the word go.