A few months ago, I took notice of a new shop called Hointer that had popped up near my neighborhood. Recently on the hunt for a new pair of jeans, I popped in to check out what Hointer was all about.
I was immediately met with a “user experience” rep from the store who was quick to talk me through the buying process. First, download the Hointer app. Second, scan the jeans and pick the sizes you want to try on. Third, go to your fitting room and decide if any of your picks work. He then disappeared.
I was initially a bit confused as questions popped into my head. You want me to sit here and take precious time to download your app to pick sizes instead of just asking someone? What if I want some cute girl sales rep to affirm or deny my gut pick on style? What if you don’t have my size but you may have it buried in the back somewhere? I have only technology to make this process happen?? This was going to be a tough sell for someone who appreciates the personal touch.
I put my defensive instincts aside and went with the flow. It took all of ten seconds to download the app before I was bouncing around the store scanning various styles and sizes to try on. When I was ready to hit the fitting room, a prompt directed me to a select room where all my jeans were in a bin ready to go. I was immediately convinced that they had world-class sprinters behind the walls making this happen.
My pick was made and in a flash I was swiping my credit card to complete the transaction. The receipt went direct to my app and I was on my way.
In the end, the process did feel a bit impersonal, but was it efficient? Absolutely. Having battled crowded stores and long lines in Chicago and New York, I can quickly see where this model and approach is setting a new standard for a smart mobile-first approach to increasing efficiency in our lives. For those in Seattle, I highly recommend dropping by to give the store a shot. For others, don’t be surprised when you start seeing this shopping experience pop up at some of your favorite retail stores.
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