Galeries Lafayette uses in-store video to allow online browsing

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Galeries Lafayette is using video to offer in-store consultations for customers from its stores.

The store shut its doors to the public on 15 March and is not set to reopen until further notice.

The new service built on technology from Go Instore, a start-up which it previously invested in, allows customers to browse products from 120 brands from their home.

Customers are connected with a personal shopper, who browses the store on their behalf via video link.

Called Exclusive Live Shopping, the platform is hosted on Galeries Lafayette.

Alexandre Liot, director of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, said: “We strongly believe in omnichannel retail, and the unprecedented situation that we have just experienced drove us to demonstrate the extent of our agility and creativity.

“Our objective is clear: making what we offer at our flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann accessible to as many people as possible, beyond its walls. With this in mind, we have increased our initiatives in recent months, for example by ramping up the rollout of handsfree and shipfromstore shopping.

“With Exclusive Live Shopping, we are taking a new step towards the unique experience that we wish to offer our clients, alongside the leading luxury brands that have wholeheartedly supported us within very tight deadlines.”

OUR VIEW: While some sectors such as grocery have seen increased sales during the coronavirus pandemic, fashion has seen a negative impact. April saw online clothing, footwear and textiles sales, however, fall by 14.5% compared to the previous month.

As a sector there are two pressures: one is that it is harder than in other sectors for online shoppers to make a decision about a purchase without seeing or trying on clothing. The other is that people are going out less so have less need for outfits.

Offering this kind of in-store service gives customers additional certainty about what they are buying.

The technology has also been used by Brompton Bikes, which has had to quickly scale up its online offering during the pandemic. Its new website uses a Shopify web store with an integrated live video service provided by Go Instore, allowing customers to see bicycles before they buy them.

The Covid-19  pandemic is seeing new models for selling online emerging, collaboration between traditional competitors and some remarkable success stories. Read about them in our free Leap from Lockdown report here.

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