Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

The Internet of….shopping?

September 23, 2015

‘This is a 2-part blog about our partnership with the Dandy Lab. Those of a techy mindset can find out all the geeky details in this post from Bob Garland, for those of a less technical background read on!’ 

‘Yesterday brought the close of yet another spellbinding London Fashion Week, but all hope is not lost if you’re wanting more of whats to come in the cutting-edge world of retail.’

When you walk into a typical fashion store, you’re overwhelmed by the choice of clothes. Well, I am at least… Where do you start? Will that top suit the skirt I bought last week? Do they have this in black? All of these questions can be quickly answered when you’re shopping online.

And this flexibility and online innovation is having a vast impact on the decline of in-store sales, however despite all of the ‘death of the high-street’ headlines, online sales account for just 10% of total retail sales within the UK (Business Harvard Review, 2014) and in summer 2014, even the megastar of e-commerce ASOS posted a 30% drop in shares due to a decline in sales.

So what’s the main reason for this unexpectedly low take-up in online shopping?

In my opinion the inability to touch and feel a product before purchasing. What customers want and expect, is no longer just a product. They want the full shopping experience that comes with it: getting inspired, discovering new relevant products, the ability to touch, feel and shop, anytime anywhere and most importantly getting their hands on the product quickly!

Today’s consumer is always connected; they’re ‘über digital’, everybody wants to be somebody. Look at the rise of Instagram, Pinterest and the newest on the block Villoid, to collaborate and use technology not only for yourself but to share with everyone you wish to share with. The retail stores therefore cannot stand alone and see the ‘online’ space as a competitor, it needs to evolve and integrate technology to offer an Omni-channel experience, where physical and digital experiences are consolidated.

So how do we do this?

Cisco has teamed up with The Dandy Lab to transform an empty pop-up spot in the heart of Shoreditch at Old Spitalfields market to create an interactive luxury menswear emporium, bringing a whole new dimension to ‘Connected Retail’.


Engaging the customer’s journey is at the heart of this store, featuring Iconeme interactive mannequins and swing tags which pull through the e-commerce site live onto screens, to a live styling wall powered by our Cisco BIG Award winner 2012 SnapFashion. The leading lifestyle app allows you to take a snap which then generates a unique colour palette giving you the option to Match It, Clash It, Mix it Up or Be Bold, finding the perfect complement of shoes to your new dress!

On top of this cutting-edge technology like real-time Meraki proximity analytics, Hoxton Analytics ankle scanning which profiles customer demographics and utilises Cisco’s connected CCTV to, again highlight, demographic analysis but also fixture effectiveness and loss prevention.

So what does that mean for me, the shopper?

The Dandy Lab will be able to track personal shopping behaviors and preferences spanning the consumer lifecycle: product selection (more details about that specific product like e-commerce descriptions), personal mobile shopping, digital shopping helper, a product recommender, contextual digital advertising (real-time data like weather, product recommendations etc), smoother checkout experience and easier mobile payment options. Ultimately driving the engagement between you and the physical stop using digital means.

By the retailer continuously collecting this data, it will make data-driven hyper local in-store decision making – which in real-life terms means they can assess things like how many people are walking past the shop vs. how many of them enter the shop; is my visual merchandising display interesting enough? What works better – styled mannequins or a text banner promoting new collections or customer activities? It will essentially be a better experience for me, the consumer.

“Waiting in a queue just to ask if they have that perfect All Saints dress in another size, only to be disappointed and have wasted time, will never happen again!”

So I’d recommend a trip to Shoreditch if you’re in the area, and if not you can take a look at for more information on what Cisco can do to transform a retail environment here.


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  1. Interesting article. They are too many attempts at innovation, but they all lack the touch, feel and smell senses of shopping.
    Perhaps more so for women than males. augmented reality?