LONDON, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- British fashion brand Burberry has teamed up with China's tech giant Tencent to create an interactive WeChat shop in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Shoppers can now use the Chinese messaging and social media app, WeChat, to engage with the shop.
The latest collaboration between the British brand and the Chinese tech company could pave the way for more interactive stores in the future, and revolutionize the consumer shopping experience.
Josie Zhang, president of Burberry China, told Xinhua that Burberry decided to launch in Shenzhen because it was the home of Tencent and because the city is known as a global technology hub.
In 2019, the two companies got together to see how they could inspire Chinese consumers to interact and purchase their products.
"We started this idea of social retail because we discovered that Chinese consumers want to be inspired. The consumers want to feel part of the community and they want to have moments to share with their friends and families either online or in real life. So this is initially what sparked us to look at what a social retail concept would look like," said Zhang.
The concept of Social Retail brings interactions and engagement from social media and puts them into a physical space. To do this, Burberry encourages customers to experience the store both digitally and physically.
Upon entering the store, users create a profile and are given a digital avatar in the form of a cartoon fawn that hatches from an egg.
Using a WeChat mini program, customers can book fitting rooms, pre-select clothes and play their own music while trying them on.
Shenzhen has a population of over 13 million, and the city's advances in the high-tech, logistics, financial services and cultural industries over the last 35 years have contributed to its own population boom.
The average age of the population in Shenzhen is relatively young. For Burberry, who were looking to launch their high tech store to a population that would likely get the most out of it, this means that the Chinese city is an ideal platform.
Josie Zhang sees the launch of the store as showing how the future of retail will likely be shaped by the consumer.
"Generation Z are becoming the new driving force for the industry," said Zhang.
"I think overall consumers are actively seeking out inspirations from brands, products stores, they are rewriting the industry rulebook. So the future of retail represents the way we market and operate a brand. So we need to be more digitized and more socially orientated, more analytical," said Zhang. Enditem