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Barratts Shoes to launch one for the ladies ‘retail mobility system’ at flagship London store this month

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UK shoe retailer Barratts Shoes is set to roll out what it is calling “a state of the art retail mobility system” – that’s an app to you and me – at its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street on 25 March.

The lady-centric iPhone app – which will be extended to Android, Blackberry and wider smartphone platforms later in the year – will deliver a virtual shopping experience, says developers Infogain, presenting users with the entire season’s collections, searchable by occasion – weddings/evening dress/casual wear, etc – or by brand.

It will also feature a "trend-setting" Barratts Changing Room, where clothes images can be uploaded to mix and match against the latest shoe styles, and a ‘birthstone’ finder with related colours and styles, to add a new, very personal search dimension.

Customers will also be able to email, MMS and Facebook their outfit choices to friends for fun – or their “does my bum look big in this” feedback. Customers will also be able to upload their completed look to the Barratts website to enter a dedicated ‘My Barratts Style’ online competition.

“We wanted to give customers an exciting mobile proposition, delivering a compelling, reliable service, but with plenty of engaging, quirky features to help us extend our brand reach into new consumer bases,” says Barratts’ E-commerce Director, Ken Platt. “As a brand leader, we wanted more than just an iPhone app, but also provide a strategic collaboration to help us plan for the mobile shopping revolution with confidence.”

Designed to appeal to female users, the development of the iPhone app, which will be heavily promoted to Barratts customers in the run up to the store opening, was inspired by the creative thinking of a customer survey and an internal ‘Pink Tank’ of target market female staff in the all-important 18 to 24 year bracket. This research identified what appeals to young, fashion-conscious, mobile phone users, identifying trend imperatives, service appeal and lifestyle drivers.

By end of April, the iPhone app will be fully transactional. At that time, the solution will be integrated into Barratts’ new CRM system for effective multi-channel delivery. This says Infogain, will seamlessly join up in-store POS, E-commerce, call centre and back office systems to maximise new mobile revenue channels, get a 360° customer view, achieve rapid customer data acquisition and implement low-cost, highly targeted, loyalty programmes.

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