NomadX at Plaza Singapura is Singapore’s first ‘phygital’ store – here’s what it’s like inside

On Nov 9, CapitaLand launched NomadX at Plaza Singapura.
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Online shopping is perfect – except for the part where you can’t try on clothes and test out gadgets for yourselves.

But it’s 2018, and the creation of “phygital” stores is meant to change just that.

On Nov 9, CapitaLand unveiled Singapore’s first “phygital” multi-label concept store, NomadX (pronounced “nomads”) at Plaza Singapura. NomadX features physical stores of e-commerce sites such as Taobao, Style Theory and Digital Fashion Week.

“Phygital” – a combination of the words “physical” and “digital” – means that the store marries the experience of shopping at retail stores with the convenience of shopping online.

“By combining the technology of ecommerce, mobile shopping applications as well as location data analytics, we are able to work with our retailers to customise entirely unique physical shopping experiences that are based on our shoppers’ preferences,” Wilson Tan, chief executive officer of CapitaLand Retail, said.

As expected, the store is equipped with interactive technologies and cashless payment systems such as StarPay – the in-app ePayment feature on CapitaStar – and Nets.

Business Insider visited the store when it launched on Nov 8 and this is what it was like inside.

The shopper’s journey begins with an “onboarding gamification process”.

After snapping a selfie and imputing personal details on the store’s Samsung devices, a series of questions will pop up.

Each shopper is assigned to one of four tribes based on his or her answers – Sea, Mountain, Forest, and Wind.

These, in turn, correspond to personality profiles such as the Enigmatic Shopper, Conquer-It-All Shopper, Love the Earth Shopper and Live-It-Up Shopper. Each shopper profile is tied to a proposed shopping route, as well as product and deal recommendations.

One of the questions that each shopper has to answer while signing up.
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Occupying 11,000 sq ft of space spread across two floors, NomadX houses 18 tenants which offer a wide range of fashion, beauty, consumer electronics, gadgets and food & beverage offerings.

They include Alibaba’s Taobao, Digital Fashion Week, Evenodd, Révolte, Style Theory, JBL, restaurant Bizen Okayama Wagyu Steakhouse and Lagerfeld’s K/Klassik Pins, and more.

There are a total of 18 tenants at NomadX.
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These tenants set up temporary homes like nomads – thus the store’s name.

Business Insider was told that tenants can rent a space for periods between three months and three years.

The walls of each store can be deconstructed and reassembled, allowing a versatile store layout.

The walls of each store, such as evenodd’s, can be easily reassembled.
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The store’s fluid layout gives tenants the liberty to choose their desired amount of space. Rental prices depend on the amount of space each tenant rents.

Using facial recognition technology, a touchscreen panel in the store automatically recognises a shopper’s assigned tribe when he or she walks up to it.

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Products tailored to their preferences are then recommended to these shoppers.

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Look up, and you’ll notice 120 cameras in NomadX – but don’t be alarmed. These cameras aren’t for stalking, NomadX claims.

They’re only used to monitor the stores that each shopper visits. With the store’s data analytics capabilities, shoppers are provided with a “better curated shopping experience catered to the individuals’ preferences”.

The store has 120 cameras.
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This is South Korean skincare and cosmetics brand Mamonde’s store in NomadX.

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Each product – lipsticks, lotions and cushion foundations – comes with a circular tag attached.

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Place a product on a sensor plate and its details will appear on a screen.

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This function is also found in other stores such as Loreal’s Derma Center, which carries skincare brands SkinCeuticals, Vichy and La Roche-Posay.

Scanning the QR code on the screen with your mobile phone will open up the brand’s website, which contains even more details about the product.
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Online fashion rental subscription platform Style Theory has chosen to debut its first physical outlet in NomadX.

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This follows feedback from customers who found it a hassle to schedule time to wait for their deliveries to arrive. Now, customers can collect and return dresses at Style Theory’s physical store.

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The touchscreen television at Style Theory instantly recognises the clothing a shopper holds up. It then provides details on the product.

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The screen also doubles up as a mirror when switched off.

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Style Theory also offers an interactive, touchscreen tablet suspended from a clothes rack, which provides users with more information on the clothes.

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Singapore-based online tea marketplace, Teapasar, has also set up its first-ever physical store here. While Teapasar has over 40 tea brands on its website, it only features eight at this store.

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The tea specialist company, which is only about one month old, is aiming to increase awareness of its brand through its NomadX store.

In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, Nicolette Yeo, Head of Marketing for Teapasar, said: “We launched our first physical store as we wanted to start with a smaller space that would allow us to meet fellow tea lovers, without being too much of a strain financially.

“NomadX gives small online start-ups a space to slowly create a brand presence. We’ve already seen an improvement in business since our soft-launch on Nov 1.”

She added that having a physical store allows staff to better connect and interact with customers, which is vital to the brand’s goal of recommending individuals their “perfect tea blend”.

By Peapods, a skincare and lifestyle brand made its first physical store debut here as well.

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The company sells a S$1890 (US$1,371) CF Magic Mask, which uses infrared rays to improve blood circulation in the scalp, preventing hair loss and reducing wrinkles. Customers are also given the option to rent this for S$399 for a month.

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Its founder, Angie, told Business Insider that having an opportunity to set up a physical store allows customers to try the product out for themselves and provides more opportunities for interaction, thereby improving sales.

Even audio equipment brand JBL has set up its first pop-up stall at NomadX.

Here, potential customers can ask for demos on how to use JBL’s smart home-enabled audio devices.

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