Comptoir Des Cotonniers's Virtual Stores May Be Fashion's Next Big Thing

Comptoir des Contonniers has already made a splash in the United States by offering gorgeous wardrobe staples in a midrange price bracket, but the brand's new European Fast Shopping campaign may be its most notable feature yet. The nearly 20-year-old French ready-to-wear brand is expanding its horizons by providing consumers with more convenient ways to purchase its wares: a "scan and buy" phone app.

In accordance with Comptoir's Fast Shopping initiative, UK company Powa Technologies created an iPhone and Android-friendly app called Powatag for consumers who want more than a simple in-store experience. The app allows consumers to scan tagged items by Comptoir des Cotonniers, which have been placed in strategic advertisements around the city. Once an interested customer has scanned the ad, she can buy and ship the clothing item in question with a simple click of the Powatag app. Tagged Comptoir advertisements will appear in an astounding 10,000 locations throughout Europe, from public transportation and drugstores to bags and tee-shirts. The company's e-commerce leader Valerie Dassier explained to Women's Wear Daily that the Fast Shopping effort — and the immediate thrill it supplies consumers--is currently unique to Comptoir, stating,

In effect, all these supports can turn into stores and, by winking at customers, trigger an impulse-buying urge, giving her an experience that — thanks to the application — is totally new.

Apps like Shopkick and Keep have revolutionized the idea of shopping and deals on the go, but Comptoir's Fast Shopping appears the only venture with the combined technology to directly unify street advertising and the impulse buy. And based on a study by Forrester Research predicting that mobile-powered purchases by consumers in European countries including Italy, the U.K., and France will approach the $26.2 billion mark by 2017, Comptoir des Cotonniers has the right idea.

The Fast Shopping endeavor certainly holds true to Compoir's mission to bring "effortless chic" French style to women everywhere, now that the brand is offering the chance to scoop up affordable fashion on the go. While the app has yet to hit the United States, it's not a far cry to imagine that in several years the smart phone app may be the preeminent way to get a bit of shopping done, or simply just liven up your wait for the subway.