Digital Technology in our Retail Stores
In the current market, where eCommerce is attracting everyone, the brick and mortar stores will have to do something to compete with the growing number of online eCommerce stores.
The best way is to use some or the other technology to attract customers and create a wonderful in-store experience. One can use technology to change the overall look of the brick and mortar store and make shopping convenient for the shoppers.
We will see some of the in-store techs that were in focus last year.
Stores have started using Virtual Mannequins that uses a compatible screen to control the light and the path creating a bright, sharp image into a predefined shadow capturing instant attention of the shoppers. These mannequins can be heat activated type, movement sensor type of in the form of continuous loop with interactive functionality. It can be used to greet visitors at the reception, promote offers based on gender recognition, and offer directions for visitors. Virtual Mannequins can be triggered to detect customers removing hanger from the rail and display models in the chosen garment.
Augmented reality is an indirect view of real-world environment where the elements are augmented using the computer-generated sensory inputs like video, graphics, sound or GPS data. Even if it has now become a general concept still with the help of advanced AR technology, which includes computer vision and object recognition, the surrounding real world of the user can become interactive and manipulative.
American Apparel have started to use AR technology that will help shoppers to see product reviews, watch videos, and order online instantly.
Shoppers can use NFC phone with a supermarket’s app to scan the shelf-edge labels containing NFC tags to get details about the items on offer, list of ingredients, suppliers’ information, pricing, videos and more. They can also use it to view the contents in the virtual shopping basket and check the amount spent, add or delete any product. Shoppers can also collect items from a local store or make it delivered to their home address.
Scan While You Shop
This technology is now found in some of the Tesco stores and is really useful. You just need your club card details and then using a handset you can scan items as you add them to your cart. So now you don’t have to wait in queue for an assistant to scan the items and make a payment, thus speeding up the process. Now you just need to pay at a console and leave when you have done. These scanners easily fits into the cart’s handle.
Tesco is going to improve the technique even more to prevent this system from being used for theft.
Browse and Order Hubs
This hub allows you to browse catalogues or scan the barcodes on the items and explore the product information. Customers can even choose to order the product using the hub and collect at a later date or have it delivered get at home. It is a touch screen device that resembles iPhones and includes a card payment machine.
Marks & Spencer is using this browse and order hubs along with a team of iPad-equipped assistants, who are ready to help shoppers in the selection process, offering an easy to shop retail experience.
Samsung stores in Singapore offers experiential retail, where the customers' movements in front of a video wall are digitized and then projected with effects, it also has a coffee store operated using an app and themed zones all through the store. The store has an asymmetrical layout where in themed zones are injected, which offers informal spaces for testing the mobile devices in different scenarios.
It also includes space where issues related to mobile devices can be diagnosed and fixed and also offers option for training, product launches and promotion.
Top Pinned Items in Store
Nordstrom uses the social proof by displaying the Pinterest items in their stores, which includes dress, handbag and shoe with a Pinterest signage reading “Top Pinned Items.”
With this the store is trying to offer what customers are interested in and what they are talking about.
Virtual Reality Catwalk Show
The Topshop Unique show will be live streamed in a tele-presence experience where shoppers at the store can view the catwalk at the London Fashion Week.
Participants will be using head-sets to enter the virtual world that incorporate live feeds from the catwalk show. This will take the idea of traditional fashion show to a new dimension.
A lot more stores have started to harness latest technologies.
This means that we can see a lot more innovative ideas closely.
[We are Connecting Dots, a full service eCommerce solutions company. At Connecting Dots, we help companies build great online businesses, we are Magento implementation partners and build great eCommerce portals]