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Rookie USA taps mobile to redefine in-store shopping experience

September 7, 2012

The Carmelo Anthony virtual in-store assistant

New retail brand Rookie USA is leveraging mobile in different ways to create an interactive and fun in-store shopping experience.

The retailer’s first location in New York City includes a virtual store assistant featuring QR codes that can be scanned for to access exclusive information and deals. The store also features an iPad bar where customers can shop the retailer’s ecommerce site.  

“An experience like the Tensator Virtual Assistant arouses interest and interest provokes action,” said Al Falack, director of Rookie USA. “We wanted to give our customers the ability to have an immediate interactive experience right after falling in love with Melo.

“It also shows that we understand how mobile is changing retail, and, to a consumer, we felt it would increase their confidence and overall experience,” he said.

Virtual assistance
Rookie USA is a Manhattan-based high-end sports store for kids featuring brands such as Nike, Levi’s, Converse, Jordan, and Nike Action.

Inside the store is a 6-foot, 8-inch virtual 3D image of New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony that uses HD projection and audio-visual technology from Tensator to assist shoppers. The virtual assistant explains how to use the store’s interactive features, introduces the Melo product line, describes the store’s loyalty program and shares basketball tips.

Other store features showcased by the virtual assistant include a corner of the store where they can see athletes in action and compare their footprints to those of their favorite athlete and a virtual basketball court where shoppers can shoot hoops.  

The virtual assistant also directs shoppers to the iPad bar and encourages them to use the interactive touch screens and kiosks located throughout the store.

Rookie USA is planning apps for the iPad and Android devices, an mcommerce site and mobile checkout.

It also plans to introduce promotion signup through scanning a QR code.

The Rookie USA store is located at 808 Columbus Square in Manhattan.  

Hotels first to embrace
Virtual concierges have been generating some interest with hotel brands this year and now it seems that retailers are getting onboard with the concept as well.

Courtyard by Marriott recently rolled out QR code-enabled virtual concierge displays at 500 locations to make it easy for guests to access and save information about local attractions (see story).

Last year, Aloft Hotel began testing a holographic concierge with QR codes to give guests easy access to information and offers from local businesses. The holographic image is projected onto a life-sized cut-out of a person in the hotel lobby (see story).

“Our real goal is to provide every customer with an experience where they feel they can always find what they are looking for, in the size of their choosing,” x said.

“So, our iPads will allow for shopping our e-commerce site as well as checking other stores – when we open more – and being able to have a different store ship it to the customer or to their closest store,” Mr. Falack said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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