Imagine watching a fashion show live online, thousands of miles away from the actual event. A look comes down the runway, you click on it, and are able to browse all of its color options and add it to your cart without pausing the livestream. You could even, if you were quick enough, place an order for that look before the show finale began. Sounds pretty futuristic, if not entirely possible, doesn't it?
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This is exactly what global high street retailer Topshop is planning to unveil during the livestream of its S/S 2013 show at London Fashion Week at 3 p.m. GMT on Sunday. Viewers will not only be able to click on clothes and accessories to browse color options in real-time, they'll also be able to change the music, download the show soundtrack from iTunes, snap screenshots to share instantly on Facebook (a feature that was developed with in-house Facebook engineers), cut and share video clips, and order looks and makeup appearing on the catwalk.
Makeup will arrive within 48 hours in the 100+ markets Topshop.com ships to; clothes and accessories will ship in six to eight weeks, well ahead of their January arrival in stores. It's fast fashion, even faster.
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Justin Cooke, chief marketing office of Topshop, describes the experience as "social entertainment" and commerce rolled into one. Personalization, interactivity and instant sharing are key themes. "It's crafted around real-time shopping -- people don't want to wait anymore," he says.
Beyond getting clothes and makeup into customers' hands faster, Cooke says he and his team have also streamlined the site registration process to four fields "to make it effortless for the customer." Viewers who have already registered on the site will be able to add items to their carts immediately. Topshop will be tracking early purchases to decide how much product to stock in store come January.
In addition to Topshop.com, the livestream will also be broadcast on Facebook, large screens at its Oxford Circus flagship in London, the websites of 200+ media partners and pinned to the top of its Twitter page, though it will lack the aforementioned add-ons in all of the latter places. The experience has been optimized for desktop viewing -- mobile viewers may prefer to watch the livestream through Twitter, Cooke says.
People are also being incentivized to tweet through a "Tweet off" -- the author of the best 140-character review of the show shared on Twitter will be given VIP tickets to the next show. Entries will stream live on a widget on Topshop.com.
The experience promises to be the next best thing to Burberry's livestream -- next best, we say, because of Burberry's elaborate staging, panning shots and the fact that it has offered live shopping from its video feed since 2010. The social elements are cleverly integrated and well-aligned with what Cooke describes as Topshop's "super-connected" customer.
This story originally published on Mashable here.