H&M Group and Amazon Launch Tech-Enabled In-Store Shopping Experiences

Fashion just got a little techier.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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H&M Group and Amazon are both testing the future of apparel shopping: H&M in its American COS stores and Amazon in its first Amazon Style store.

H&M Group is testing new in-store shopping experiences to offer seamless payment options, personalized styling recommendations, faster checkout, and upgraded delivery/return options. 

The apparel retailer is currently rolling out the pilot across its COS stores in the U.S. The first pilot store in Beverly Hills, CA, will feature fitting rooms equipped with smart mirrors that recognize products brought into the room by item, size, and color, with the possibility to offer personalized product and styling recommendations. On the store floor, other types of smart mirrors can be used for virtual try-on and styling. When a shopper brings an item near the mirror, the item appears on screen along with styling recommendations. The retailer is also testing new checkout solutions and more sustainable delivery and return options.

“We are developing and imagining how COS retail spaces can inspire our customers, both now and for the future,” said Lea Rytz Goldman, managing director COS. “Our ambition is to pilot new technologies that allow us to meet and exceed our customers’ in-store shopping expectations. With COS Beverly Hills, we have seen first-hand how our customer experience can be elevated with tech enhancements. As a result, these innovations will be rolled-out in more COS’ U.S. stores this year.”

H&M Group CTO Alan Boehme noted the retailer will test a new frictionless and personalized shopping experience throughout 2022 — from the fitting room to checkout. “This initiative is a natural next step in H&M Group’s long history of innovation, where we use technology to discover new ways of enjoying fashion.”

Amazon stlye touchscreen
Using touchscreens, Amazon Style shoppers can request more styles and sizes to be delivered to their fitting room closet in minutes. Photo credit: Amazon.

Amazon Style Opens

Preempting H&M’s news, last week Amazon’s awaited brick-and-mortar clothing store Amazon Style opened at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, CA.

The first Amazon Style is designed to help shoppers using advanced technology, including machine learning algorithms that produce tailored, real-time recommendations for each customer as they shop and touchscreens to request items be delivered to fitting room closets in minutes, as well as rate items to get new personalized picks in real time.

[See more: Sneak Peek: First Amazon Style Store Opening in 2022]

Amazon introduced the team running the high-tech store last week here. Positions include a back-of-house zone lead, which runs the team of associates who pick the products and deliver them to a customer’s fitting room closet when a customer chooses an item on the Amazon Shopping app. As customers walk the store, they can scan an item’s QR code to see sizes, colors, overall customer ratings, and additional product details. With the tap of a button, they can then add the item to a fitting room or send it directly to the pickup counter. 

“It’s amazing to launch such a new and innovative concept and build a team from scratch,” said store manager Lesley U.