Management / 5 technologies set to change customer experience in retail

5 technologies set to change customer experience in retail

We have an increasing amount of technology at home and even in our pockets, but what does the future hold for our stores and shopping centres?

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1. Projection

This ranges from the entirely decorative to the extremely functional. Projection can be used to liven up surfaces in a retail environment in an animated and flexible way.

It can also be used to convey important information to consumers. For example, a display of trainers on a wall can show which sizes are currently in stock.


2. Touch screens

Yes, we might all already carry them around in our pockets everywhere we go, but touch screens are about to get a whole lot bigger and arrive in our shops.

Take the Adidas wall, for example, which allows customers to select from a huge range of shoes without the need for a large, space-consuming wall display.


3. Augmented reality

We’ve already seen the potential of augmented reality in retail in Ikea’s mobile app.

To help customers to decide which items of furniture would fit best in their homes, the app uses their phones’ cameras to overlay an image of the products to show how they would look.


4. Nighttime displays

Retail units are often expensive to rent, and at night when staff have gone home they sit idle, with customers unable to make purchases even if they see items the like.

UX and product design agency Difr is developing technology to change this. The digital window display allows consumers to order with their smartphones and collect when the store opens.


5. Robots

That’s right – we could soon be served by robots, as we saw in 2014 when American DIY chain Lowe’s began a trial of OSHbot in its store in San Jose.

The robot can recognise parts shown to it by customers, check the store’s live stock levels, and knows exactly where any item required can be found.

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