The phrase ‘Top Gear’ now has a totally new meaning thanks to online fashion retailer Zalando. The company’s new fashion concept car aims to make online shopping even easier. ‘Mobile’ shopping now means that items can be identified from wearers in the street, orders can be placed from your car and delivered directly to your vehicle, you don’t even have to be there to receive it…
How does it work?
With the help of an augmented reality app, the user is able to scan the outfits of passers-by, the app identifies the outfit online and finds a selection of lookalike items (from Zalando’s stock of course). The user then makes a selection for purchase and a GPS tracking system helps to deliver it to the car boot, which the delivery person will be able to access in your absence. The boot is also an integrated mobile wardrobe with space for further orders and a stash of shoes and accessories, in case you ever need to change in your car or in the parking lot. One of the more outrageous features of the concept is the built-in change room (or shower curtain and rail) attached to the boot for quick, discreet wardrobe changes while on the move.
Zalando’s publicity video for the concept makes all this seem relatively easy but unless the said passer-by stops to let you take a snap of their wares (as demonstrated) it will probably be a little more difficult to identify the items. Also, while the idea seeks to take shopping convenience to another level, how often would anyone really need to place an urgent order from their car? How often would the app be able to successfully identify garments from afar and how close would the matches be to the images provided? Even if all these concerns were dealt with, would you really need a mobile change room and how often would you use the flimsy cubicle?
On the surface the idea behind the vehicle is very appealing – every time you saw someone wearing something you liked, you would be able to find out what it is (to a degree) and where to get it or something similar. It also eliminates having to be home or in the office to receive and sign for packages, I’m just not convinced that any of this is necessary.
The car was launched at the International Motor Show in Geneva, there is only one at the moment but more will be developed as part of the company’s five year plan to make online retail even more convenient and comprehensive in the future.