I've been watching this story about Polo Ralph Lauren's ever-so-literal 'window shopping' for the past week, wondering if most people were thinking just what I was thinking.
Supposedly inspired by Spielberg's film adaption of Minority Report, Ralph Lauren has come up with a hybrid touch-screen shop window, where passers-by can shop by touching the window and selecting the items they see in the window.
Imagine that, tapping on windows and shopping for clothes (that you can't try on) even when - gasp - the shop is closed. My first thought, of course, was "Inspired by the film?! Ever heard of the internet?"
I find it hilarious that many people don't see the simple overlay of concept here: on-street retail with online retail. One comment from a news site: "LMAO ever herd [sic] of wanting to try shit on before you buy it..... i mean come on i cant see this being the 'next' way to buy clothing." Umm... I'll leave that one.
So will its problems be similar to e-tailing? In addition to the standard usability and fulfilment issues, there's an added security issue taking it to the streets - customers will be whipping out their plastic at potentially any hour of the day and using card swipers. A hybrid of best practice for e-commerce and kiosks would be in use.
It's meant to create buzz, and granted, it's not seen as cool for the wildly new concept - because it's not one. The cool factor comes with the technology and systems running it. I'll give 'em that.