NRF 2013: Reshaping the Shopping Experience

This is a guest post by Kim Stocks, Director of Corporate Communications, Microsoft

Last fall, I joined Steve in the Big Apple for New York FashionWeek where we hung out with fashion bloggers and retail reporters. It was a great chance to talk about the intersection of fashion and technology, and what it will mean to consumers in the future.

Talk is cheap, so we held our conversations against the backdrop of a partnership we formed with Bloomingdale’s — a brand synonymous with fashion. We worked with Bloomingdale’s to highlight a few choice technology experiences at their store on 59th Street.

A clear crowd pleaser was Swivel by FaceCake, a virtual dressing room from FaceCake Marketing Technologies that’s built using Windows Embedded and Kinect for Windows. Swivel is genius because it lets you try on clothes virtually. No more hassle with having to change multiple outfits. (Ladies: You know exactly what I’m talking about!) I’ve always thought augmented reality was cool, but this is an example of how it can actually make my life easier.

With the 2013 National Retail Federation show starting this week, I figured it would be a good time to see what Microsoft and FaceCake have planned for the big show.

A big theme for Microsoft at NRF this year is showing retailers how they can better engage with customers and reshape the shopping experience, whether on a mobile phone, tablet or PC or in the store. With hot new technologies and our broad ecosystem of partner solutions on display, we’re giving attendees a chance to experience firsthand how they can reinvent shopping scenarios across multiple devices, in-store and online.

FaceCake, in particular, takes the experiences from New York FashionWeek a step further. They will show off a few advances in the Microsoft’s booth (#1005) at the 102nd annual NRF January 14-15, 2013, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. If you’re attending the show, come visit and check out what’s in store …

  • Swivel Digital Signage: Swivel Digital Signage allows shoppers to virtually explore various styling choices before they enter the store, as well as throughout the retail environment—turning standard displays into personalized style experiences. The photo shown here is a Digital Signage example in front of Bloomingdale’s 59th Street store during New York Fashion Week. Using touch technology embedded in the display window, passersby could mix and match different looks. For example, one could see how a particular dress looked with a particular coat and set of earrings before even entering the store.
  • Swivel Close Up: Provides consumers with the opportunity to virtually try on cosmetics and accessories within a two-foot environment— mirroring the in-store experience.
  • Try-On Banners: Try-On rich media banners engage consumers from their computers or their phones. AndFaceCake’s interactive, virtual Try-On generates real-time product recommendations and detailed consumer metrics so customers and retailers both benefit.


I think you’ll agree that these technologies truly have the potential to transform how we shop. Personally, I can’t wait until more of my favorite stores offer these types of experiences. Here’s to #shoppingmadeeasier! More information on Microsoft at NRF can be found here.