Technological Game Changers in RetailBY Alice Kuepper
The shopping experience has truly come a long way in the past ten years. Just a short time ago we were charmed by the arrival of self-checkout in supermarkets, and delighted by the introduction of tap-and-go. But these advancements have now become the norm for shoppers, and we mindlessly use them each day without any thought or hesitation. According to the experts, more big changes are coming. And just like the other technologies we’ve seen, these changes will become everyday shopping customs before we know it.
Let’s take a look at how retail as we know it is about the change forever:
The Makeover Mirror
How many times have you perched yourself in front of the store mirror and had a wizard artist do your makeup, only to not be able to replicate the look, well, ever again? And it certainly didn’t help that you had your eyes closed for most of it. Thanks to the Makeover Mirror, it won’t be long before you can enjoy the techy goodness of ‘virtual mirrors’, which will quite literally record you having your makeup applied in-store before sending you a weblink video of the recording to use at home (you don’t even need to download an App, it’s that easy). A high end light system will also simulate natural sunlight to ensure your video is colour-corrected, while an adjustable light temperature will re-create different light environments, so you look perfect on a sunny day, in the office or on a night out. Not to mention you’ll also be delivered a database of all of the products you tried on.
Hell hath no fury like a woman who has just been delivered a dress that does not fit (particularly on a Friday afternoon). The clever people at Style Atlas know this all too well, and have been working hard to launch a technology solution for this very problem. In fact they are the first in the world to design a solution that allows you to create a 'bod-e-map' - your very own personal set of fit related body measurements - requiring only one full length photograph alongside your height and weight. Working with partner retailers, Style Atlas then takes the garment measurements from every single unique style sold, before telling you which size will fit, based on your 'bod-e-map' and how the garment was designed to fit. Expected to fully launch by the end of this year, it won't be long before you’ll be able to use this feature via one of Australia’s biggest online fashion retailers. Style Atlas has also created a solution to streamline the design workflow of fashion labels. Their “Quadrant” App makes the critical process of taking designs through to finished garments easier and more efficient. You could say that they’re saving the world of online shopping, one flattering garment at a time.
The Inspiration Corridor
Welcome to the future of corridors people, because regular corridors are so passé. Picture this; you enter a corridor that is lined with large screens and fitted with a camera, and this clever camera sees and builds a profile for you using your age, gender and height. And then, like some kind of witchcraft (well, not really, but close) the screens will display content that is specially tailored to you. You can then choose garments you like and the magic screens will show you the completed outfits. Talk about catering to the lazy shopper! Video: https://vimeo.com/88783300
In the future, holograms won’t be limited to Star Wars and Tupac appearances, but rather digital signage and displays will be set up in and around shops to show consumers an almost-3D digital image of products and advertising. In simple terms, the holographic displays will show customers different products and ads from various angles, allowing us to see the front, back and sides. And the team at Intelliscape have taken holograms one step even further, now designing a holographic display with a camera inside. This camera will capture your age and demographic before tailoring the content to show you products relevant to you, for the ultimate personal shopping experience.
Imagine if you were able shop anywhere in the world and customise your designs in real time! Well, welcome to the future of shopping. Thanks to marketing and innovation agency Rh7thm and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality specialists MultiDimensionCorp, it won’t be long before you’re experiencing virtual reality shopping both in-store and at home! Partnering with Disrupt Sports at the 2017 Online Retailer Conference and Expo, these geniuses have created a technology that allows you to pop on augmented reality glasses and create your own personalised surfboard design, all the while experiencing it in VR before making the purchase.
Blended experience shoppingHaven’t had enough yet? Let’s talk about Brauz, an Australian start-up working to create the world’s first ‘blended experience’ marketplace, bringing physical, digital and virtual shopping together. How can this be done you ask? Well, not long from now you’ll be downloading the Brauz App that allows you to browse products presented to you based on your own interests, likes, behaviours and even stages of life. Next, imagine yourself walk past a store and receiving a notification to tell you that this store actually stocks one of the products that you’ve saved on your App. Or even more impressively, if you’ve liked a branded pair of black boots, you’ll receive an alert if you walk past a store stocking similar black boots! Game-changing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alice is the event organiser of the Online Retailer Conference & Expo