5th Annual Pro AV Spotlight Awards Best Retail AV Installation: C. Wonder Flagship SoHo Store, New York
Jul 18, 2012 2:29 PM
Cliqk Design Group, New York
For this major women’s apparel brand launch, the goal was to transform the customer experience at C. Wonder’s flagship SoHo store (and an eventual 20-store rollout) using interactive technology geared to an audience of fashion-forward shoppers.
Cliqk conceptualized, designed, and project managed the integration of a powerful multi-zoned music system, an automated lighting system, an intelligent HVAC system, and a subtle loss-prevention system—and provided the overarching, unified control system for C. Wonder. The company then designed the user interactions for each system, including hidden sensors that activate lighting and music as a customer enters the dressing room, convenient attendant call functions, and custom programming for simple control for the entire store. The biggest coup was the concept and design of the revolutionary and playful in-wall touchscreens in the dressing rooms, which allow customers to interactively play with the lighting and music.
Upon entering the fitting room, a sensor automatically turns on the lights and plays music, letting the customer know she is about to experience something unusual. Using an intuitive, custom-designed touch interface, she can choose music (eight available playlists including “flirty,” “playful,” “nostalgic,” and “cool”), volume (mute, soft, medium, and high) and lighting preferences (dark, dim, medium, and bright). She can also call an attendant for help with the push of a button, without leaving the fitting room. When she leaves, the room turns off automatically.
C. Wonder’s President, Amy Schecter, explains the extent to which Cliqk’s technology design solution helped ignite the brand’s success: “21st century retailing requires a customized experience and technology is key. You … create your own experience inside your fitting room.”
Behind the scenes, Cliqk provided the C. Wonder staff with a seamless control system, centralizing music, lighting, and temperature controls. Cliqk also integrated an RFID system into the store’s infrastructure for maximum security and consumer information. Should there be a security concern or a VIP present, alerts are sent via subtle, custom programmed signals so that management can take appropriate actions.
The C. Wonder flagship store in SoHo opened to a frenzy of rave reviews. In fashion blogs and major mainstream press mentions, C. Wonder has been lauded for the unparalleled use of technology. As RetailCustomerExperience.com put it: “When C. Wonder… opened on Black Friday, customers were more excited about the fitting room than the strands of colorful bauble jewelry and preppy striped sweaters.”
Cliqk designed the technology infrastructure of this flagship store as cost-effectively as possible, keeping in mind that simple, repeatable solutions would be needed for future stores. Because this was the inaugural C. Wonder store, Cliqk needed to drill well below the surface concept of a touchscreen or RFID sensor to define the intended user experience and multiple layers of possible interaction. Cliqk presented multiple scenarios for interfaces, interface graphic designs, and custom programming options to C. Wonder and is still heavily involved in tailoring them to new customer and new store needs.
The Control4 system of products and its Director Version 2.1.1 software were selected due to its impressive range of control options, simple user interface, and C. Wonder’s familiarity with the system. Cliqk created custom user interfaces and communication protocols.