Nōwn POS Delivers What Customers Want Most: Loyalty

We are so fortunate to have crossed paths with Kristin Dorsey, the Director of Marketing and Communications at Nōwn POS, at the recent FashionTech TO event. 

Nōwn POS has developed a technology that has the potential to revolutionize retail through customer loyalty. By enabling its system to recognize all Nown customers and display their name, picture, and purchase history, customers can feel valued, which will in turn enrich their shopping experience. At a time in which everything is fast-paced and efficiency is the ultimate goal, Nōwn POS has found a way to capture a single moment and allow a customer to feel appreciated, while balancing that with efficiency. Indeed, the technology is the result of conversations between Kristin and Nōwn POS’s in-house designer about what merchants and consumers would want from this solution.  They discussed the consumer experience — being able to walk into your favourite coffee shop or retail store and be known, hence the name of the business. In February of 2017, Kristin sat down with the CEO of Nōwn POS to talk about how there should be a focus on personalized customer experience and advocated for a change in the direction and the goal of the company. This narrowed focus has certainly resulted in a notable benefit for consumers. 

 Furthermore, retailers can also benefit from this technology because they can truly know their customers. This can inevitably streamline sales and avoid a one-size-fits-all selling approach. Their technology is a win-win. 

 Of course, all of this came after significant demographic and societal research into how the market operates. While “loyalty programs” have become a common marketing strategy, it is not in the best interest of a business to encourage a customer base that simply wants free rewards. Rather, businesses need to change the behaviour and emotion of their customers, which can be effectively done by remembering a customer’s favourite items and additional details of her profile. Indeed, the majority of the population almost expects this to a certain degree because of innovations like Amazon, which have incorporated this element of personalization into their operations.  

 From a legal perspective, it is important to note that Nōwn POS doesn’t collect invasive personal data (such as a shopper’s home address) but rather collects shopping patterns for the sake of a consumer profile, not a personal one. 

In the same way that Nōwn POS is bridging a gap between an in-person shopping experience with the more personalized online experience, it is important for legal professionals to also bridge a gap between the law and engineering, tech, and fashion, in order to protect helpful technologies like this, especially from the directly applicable privacy regulations. 

 

 

Fashion for Good - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Recently, during my visit to Amsterdam, I had the privilege of going to the Fashion for Good Museum in the heart of the city, as per Summer’s suggestion.

According to Fashion for Good, “Fashion is stuck in a pattern of ‘take-make-waste’, which causes devastating environmental impacts, not to mention huge economic losses. On average, we buy 60% more clothing than we did 15 years ago — but we keep each item only half as long. Plus, it is estimated that nearly 60% of all clothing produced ends up being burned or in landfills within one year of being made.”

In response, Fashion for Good aims to bring together the entire fashion ecosystem through their Innovation Platform to create change. This platform supports high-potential startup businesses and technologies. They offer assistance based on business maturity through three key programmes: the Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator, the Scaling Programme, and the Good Fashion Fund.

According to the team, the “Good” in Fashion for Good is defined as the following:

Good Materials  –  safe, healthy and designed for reuse and recycling
Good Economy  – growing, circular, shared and benefiting everyone
Good Energy  – renewable and clean
Good Water  – clean and available to all
Good Lives  – living and working conditions that are just, safe and dignified

In other words, it is not simply about looking good, or even buying and owning clothing that is mostly good.

During my visit, I was also able to commit to multiple promises in an effort to help reduce waste as a member of the fashion community.

It was a privilege to be there both personally and on behalf of the Women of Wearables Toronto Chapter, and I would highly recommend that you visit the museum if you happen to be in Amsterdam.

More on the Fashion for Good Innovation Platform Alumni soon.

3D Fittings To Make Online Shopping Even Easier

A 2018 Alphawise survey indicated that approximately 81% of respondents stated they had purchased clothing online, as opposed to a brick and mortar store. This number is up from 71% in 2010.

Now, technology has the power to further increase this statistic. Indeed, 3D body-scanning could make shopping even easier. This emerging technology “would allow consumers to use cameras and lasers on their mobile devices to capture precise body measurements”. This would not only instil confidence in a buyer who is shopping online, but could also minimize returns and exchanges due to a poor fit: a win for both the consumer and the buyer.

Technology, once again, has the power to disrupt and streamline an industry.

On October 29, I had the privilege to attend an event hosted by Fashion Tech Toronto, which showcased leaders in the fashion and technology space and allowed entrepreneurs to tell us about their inventions. Among these creatives, were the founders of Passen, named after the German word for “fit”. Their technology was geared to do exactly this, and a demonstration of their product proved how easy and fast 3D scanning would be.

As a law student, however, questions about privacy implications quickly filled my mind and I became immensely intrigued at how the company is handling such concerns.

So, stay tuned for more updates on Passen, as well as Fashion Tech Toronto, for answers to such questions.

Therapeutic Clothing that Hugs

Sensewear is the newest innovation in smart clothing that is making a social impact. 

Emanuela Corti and Ivan Parati created a collection of smart clothing to address a gap in the fashion-tech industry. Their designs aim to help those affected by sensory processing disorder (SPD). Individuals with SPD, especially those who are on the autism spectrum, have complications with processing everyday stimuli. Hypersensitivity, for example, is a common symptom. Individuals may have an enhanced sensitivity to sounds, smells, and touch. 

 If sensitivity to physical contact is heightened, imagine how the texture of clothing and its stitching and labels can become a source of pain during daily wear. 

Corti and Parati looked for several solutions to this issue including an alternative 3D knitting process and a method that could combine therapeutic objects and clothing. At the core of their collection is a smart t-shirt that collects data on heart rate, breath frequency, and movement. This indicates the wearer's stress level, which will trigger the functions of the other garments. One of these garments is "sensewear for emotional emergencies". It appears to be a scarf, but the individual can also wear it as a pull-over. Once the piece is worn as a pull-over, it uses deep touch pressure (DTP) therapy to mimic a hug. 

Their design has pioneered a new iteration of health technology that can reduce the symptoms of SPD. Health technology in smart clothing is often linked to fitness gear, such as yoga pants that provide haptic feedback to muscles to correct positions. However, this development is a compromise between style and scientific utility. The technology is inconspicuous and allows for a dose of physical therapy during daily activities. The duo hopes to expand their technology into interior design in order to tackle the much larger issue of how to improve the discomfort individuals with SPD feel from overstimulation. 

This post was written by Summer Lewis, first-year law student at Osgoode Hall, Toronto.

Taking the Lead - Philip Beesley

The intersectionality of fashion, technology, and design is only now starting to be explored. Philip Beesley, however, has been active in this field for some time now.

Philip Beesley is a practicing visual artist, architect, and Professor in Architecture at the University of Waterloo and Professor of Digital Design and Architecture & Urbanism at the European Graduate School. Beesley's work is widely cited in contemporary art and architecture, focused in the rapidly expanding technology and culture of responsive and interactive systems.

Beesley was educated in visual art at Queen's University, in technology at Humber College, and in architecture at the University of Toronto. His Toronto-based practice, Philip Beesley Architect Inc., operates in partnership with Rolf Seifert and the Waterloo-based Adaptive Systems Group, and in numerous collaborations including longstanding exchanges with couture designer Iris van Herpen and futurist Rachel Armstrong. 

Beesley’s ground-breaking exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum, in collaboration with van Herpen explored how intelligence and technology are changing industries. This enabled these two visionaries to bring their worlds to one exhibit and demonstrate how their respective industries are transforming.

Through the use of 3D printing and responsive design, these two “kindred spirits” are taking the lead.

Take the tour.