Merging digital and in-store, these 10 ideas are molding the shopping experience into a digital wonderland
We would be remiss if we didn’t lead with wearables like Google Glass and smart watches. As these cyber fashions become more and more mainstream, more and more useful applications will emerge. Some projections have it being a $50 billion industry by 2019—or earlier.
MPOS PRINTING SOLUTIONS
Exciting new printing products (like the Label works LW-600 label printer by Epson product) get us jazzed about some cool mobile point-of-sale printing solutions. Sure, there are the expected records and receipts applications. But what about applications we haven’t heard of yet? Consumer content creation? Seamless shopping? An Occulus Rift partnership?.
AGILE IN-STORE EXPERIMENTS
All of this speed and agility has retailers feeling experimental, and those who are investing in knitting “brick n’ clicks” together are using their flagship stores to find out what works and what doesn’t. Why? On their home court, they are free to leverage cheaper, pilot technology before rolling it out full-scale.
SUPPLIES DRIVEN BY BLOGS
Just this winter, Target asked three lifestyle bloggers to design products, which were then sold on Target shelves. Some retail brands are letting well-known bloggers design storefronts, too.
The market is demanding check out/purchase by mobile phone, and it won’t be ignored. Apple, Starbucks, and AT&T were the first here. The category is now on fire with 2.0 products like Square, LevelUp, and Leaf. For some stores, the benefit is freeing up space for slick product, lighting, and a hotter retail experience. For others, it could be real-time incentives.
Flip-flop “showrooming” and you get a new trend called “webrooming:” consumers who do research online or mobile to find the best price and make a purchase at a physical store. This new behavior makes it paramount for retailers to optimize their own digital tools to maintain inventory, price match, and grow loyalty programs.
We live in an unprecedented age of information. Consumers know this and are demanding to know more and more about their purchases. Zady is driving the social consciousness angle online by providing a backstory for each of its products. Some high-end fashion boutiques have used RFID chips to showcase interactive video content. Others have hosted special events and integrated consumers’ social content into the product story.
If you can’t bring shoppers to the store, what about bringing the storefront to them? In 2013, Kate Spade tested a digital storefront that promised delivery anywhere in New York City within an hour. And they aren’t the only ones testing this. eBay has partnered with Rebecca Minkoff, Sony and TOMS to test storefronts in malls.
GROCERIES LEADING THE WAY
Remember when online grocery stores tumbled in 2001? The category has re-emerged as the next disruptive thing. Amazon Fresh, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods are testing grocery delivery, but not just for foodstuffs. Quiqui is a San Francisco pharmacy promising prescription delivery in less than an hour. Viagra partnership anyone?
3D IMAGEING & HOLOGRAMS
Fans of “Star Trek: Next Generation” know it as the Holodeck. But Lowe’s is now promoting its “HoloRoom” as the next big thing. First, Lowe’s customers capture images of their home improvement project with their tablet. Then they stop by Lowe’s and step into the HoloRoom, where augmented reality puts them in the middle of their brand new, remodeled space. The experience is being rolled out with bathrooms, but additional rooms or digital advances are sure to make this cooler.