M-Retailing

Love Island… the ultimate shopping destination?

Some may argue that ITV show Love Island merely holds a (black) mirror up to the human condition, reflecting back at us our own mores, prejudice and venal self interest – and a love of the beautiful people laid bare in their undies. But for m-retailing it is way more important than that.

The companion app to the new TV series seeks to do what no TV tie up has yet pulled off and monetise second screening. What the makers of the programme (and the app) are hoping is that, when the ‘stars’ of the show mention a T-Shirt slogan that one of the hapless band of buff dimwits is wearing it triggers an auction that will drive avid two-screen viewers of the show crazy with lust for said goods and will buy them (at £15 a pop inc. p&p).

The idea is that fans of the show can be wearing the bon mots uttered by these cast away Oscar Wildes of the internet generation within hours of them being uttered.

It is also a great way to monetise the show through, until now, chronically under-utilised second screen.

So what does this mean for mobile retail? Well, it show cases first and foremost that TV companies are finally serious about monetising their digitally engaged audiences. But more pressingly, it shows that TV ‘programmes’ are also set to become retail outlets.

It has long been assumed that TV ads will become shoppable. Shazam audio recognition tech has already been used to try and make this happen. But until now it hasn’t.

This move by Love Island could change all that. It speaks directly to the generation of shoppers who are likely to be turned on by this sort of approach and whom don’t natively view shopping as something you do in a shop.

It is early days, but should this prove a success in this show, expect to see it creep into others – and eventually reshape how mainstream retail approaches interaction and sales with its shoppers.

And it can’t come too soon. New Look and Top Shop have both posted below expected results and many point to their in-store and online experiences being out of date as the driving force behind this change in fortunes.

Again, these brands speak to younger audiences – probably a pretty similar audience to that of Love Island – and they expect a wholly different experience. They want the real world to be online and vice versa and the brands that traditionally delivered what they wanted no longer cut it.

Things like being able to buy stuff via a companion app to a TV show are only going to dent this even more.

This all marks the shift that retail is undergoing currently – change is coming. But to the credit of retailers they are trying to make it happen. COOP in Denmark is so committed to understanding how its shoppers shop and live that it sent its e-commerce directors to live with actually customers and observe. Now that’s dedication.

Gatwick Airport has also become something a new retail tech trail blazer too, first installing 2000 beacons to provide a navigation system now taking part in an ‘airport hackathon’ where it shares its customer data with developers for 48 hours so they can come up with some great new apps to help people use the airport and its attendant shops.

Renault is using location technology to help drive users into its showrooms, ShoeZone is developing mobile to help drive omni-channel retail growth, with mobile driving sales growth this year.

Hell, even theme park visitors are demanding AI helps them book, travel to and use these lands of fun.

It seems that the will is there to try and connect these disperate strands and drive an experience for shoppers – and experience shoppers now expect. It is good to see it happening in the retail sector, but with the likes of ITV looking to leverage its reach using retail the game is well and truly on.

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