The future of retail is driven by technology, mobile devices, the web, social media and the search for ever richer shopping experiences. The shopping experience is increasingly becoming customer centric; they can now choose how, when and where to shop. The traditional store will remain important but the store of the future will push the boundary of customer choices and offer personal shopping assistance, product testing, education, virtual inventory and social connectivity. Those innovative services will in turn increase customer loyalty and brand adoption.
Check out our guide to keep up with retail technology here.
In the Best Retail Brands 2013 report, Interbrand highlights that: "The store, as the heart of the brand and its emotional center, cannot be starved of investment and innovation, or appropriate levels of design, media and technology. It needs to be the showcase for interesting new collaborations to keep things exciting, whether it's a luxury jeweller or a humble dollar store."
Let's take a look at how the big brands are adopting new retail technology.
In 2011, Tesco was the first company to open a virtual store in a Seoul subway station, showcasing items with QR codes that could be scanned and ordered by smartphone for home delivery. Peapod also tested a virtual grocery store in Chicago in 2012 and they are now putting a virtual store on a truck heading to ballparks, concert venues and coffee shops in five major city along the East Coast of the US. Peapod COO Mike Brennan said in a statement. "This go-round, we're exploring new, hyper-local platforms to communicate our convenience message of 'Shop Anywhere, Anytime with Peapod."
Tesco: Homeplus Subway Virtual Store
- TWEET MIRRORS - - - Westfield | Mexx Duesseldorf
Tweet mirrors enable shoppers to take picture of their outfits and instantly share them with their friends on Twitter and Facebook.
Mexx Duesseldorf Tweet Mirror
- VIRTUAL FITTING ROOM - - - Face Cake Swivel | Top Shop
Virtual fitting rooms enable people to try (virtual) clothes & accessories without getting undressed or battling through a busy shop. The camera is able to monitor the customer's movements and tell when they turn around in order to show them the back of the garment too. This technology has spread like wild fire, you can find one at Robina on the Gold Coast.
Virtual Dressing room
Adidas took window shopping to the next level, There is nothing to explain just watch the magic happen.
Adidas NEO Window Shopping
- VIRTUAL FOOTWEAR WALL - - - Adidas
Adidas have created an in-store digital experience to showcase their 8,000+ shoe range. It can be deployed to allow almost any retailer to sell the entire Adidas product range without having to be a flagship store in a major city, which is a huge win for all sorts of retailers big and small.
Intel and Adidas Transforming Retail