Retail Is About To Change…
Here Are 5 Ways How Technology Is Changing Retail Shopping
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5 Technologies That Will Change Retail
Retail shopping will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 1000 years. Everything will change, stores will behave more like websites and websites more like stores. The fundamentals of what a store is its purpose and function is already changing. These are the five biggest technologies that will affect your shopping experience.
1) Bluetooth Beacons BLE – Increasingly retailers are using beacons to enhance in-store experiences while simultaneously bridging your physical and online experiences. Beacons are small wireless devices that transmit a continuous radio signal. The signal ID is detected by smart phones, and they send the ID to a cloud server the server can then push targeted content to the device. Bluetooth Low Energy BLE is a technology behind beacons and it provides a device location on a very micro level down to a single stall aisle for instance.
This means that if you have opted in, retailers will be able to gather data not only on your movements, but also be able to push content to your device.
Say you’re walking past your favorite department store and they’re having a sale with a beacon nearby your phone could alert you to the sale. From a retailer’s perspective the data collection aspect of beacons is arguably more important in sales. They will be able to use the information to better segment customers and advertise accordingly. Stores like Macy’s and Barneys have already deployed beacons in their stores nationwide.
2) Facial Recognition in Retail – Retailers are no longer content to identify us via swipe of a loyalty card at the point of sale. They want to identify us as soon as we enter the store. The iPhone X has helped to normalize facial recognition and using this technology Retailers aim to provide a customized experience.
The technology, which uses over 16,000 reference points on your face, was originally designed to support security and events and international airports by using facial recognition. Systems retail staff will know what type of products you buy and what your average spend is, so they can give more love to higher spenders.
3) Robot Shopping Assistant – The staff that do respond may not be your typical human employees, say hello your new robot shopping assistant.
Robot assistant technology already exists and can greet you in multiple languages. They have built-in 3d scanners with image recognition software to identify items and navigate the store to guide you to the product. If you have an out-of-the-box question that is beyond the robot and it can start a video conference with a human. The robots are not limited to customer interaction and will also move into the supply chain which robot said check stock, find pricing errors and items have been this place.
These robots are intelligent enough to navigate existing stores and move around customers. The data these robots gather is compiled and analyzed to provide improvement recommendations
4) Smart Changing Room Mirrors – Traditional mirrors are out and smart displays are in. Using artificial intelligence, virtual reality and gesture recognition technology the mirrors can superimpose clothing over your on-screen image. In effect, the mirror becomes a virtual changing room where you can create complete outfits without ever getting undressed.
This technology allows you to see all items even items that are not in stock and try and dozens of different combinations. To see what the same item would look like in a different color you can simply swipe your hand. You can even share your virtual picture on social media, so your friends can give you advice before you buy that new jacket.
OakLabs has a similar product for fitting rooms When you walk into a fitting room the mirror comes alive with all the items you have using RFID. You can request other sizes cuts and colors with the display and an alert is sent to sales staff to deliver the product to you using big data the sales staff can also bring in additional products that other customers typically buy with those items. This would essentially bring the ease of online shopping into the tangible world of retail.
Retail stores can use this technology not just to measure average time in the fitting room, but also which items have the highest conversion rate.
5) Elimination of the Checkout Lane – After using the robot support and interactive displays comes the payment process. Self-service checkouts have existed for over a decade, paying with your phone or watches is newer but we will see the rise and fall of this technology. The future of payments is you walking out of the store with your items automatically being scanned and the total being charged to your account.
Amazon already has shops that identify you as you enter and automatically charge you as you leave. No need to scan any items. Payment in the future will have no queues no checkouts and no hassles.