Top 5 Innovative Retailers using In-store Tech
It’s high time for the fashion industry to go back to school and start learning from these major retail chains.
From an online point of view, fashion is at the fore front of the e-commerce industries, with finely tuned platforms and beautiful designs (and we don’t mean the kind you’ll wear) but take a look at recent news and you’ll see a different trend: “High street is going down”. With more and more shoppers “showrooming” nowadays (e.g. researching a product in-store and buying it online) the retail industry will soon have to reconsider how it does its business away from the computer. At Bodi.me we know that innovation is what keeps a good business going so we are eager to show those that are making progress. The hunt for the omni-channel, a way to adapt the retail business to the new tech savvy consumer, has begun and these are 5 of the stores that know it:
One of the major so called “pain points” or the most irritating parts of real life shopping is the time wasted in queues. Seen and hated everywhere by the on the go society of today, it is no surprise that retailers are hurrying to fix this problem. US supermarket chain Kroger has developed Que Vision; in order to ensure that their customers never have to wait in line behind more than one person. The system seems simple enough: install infrared cameras at the entrance, run the data through the software then display the number of registers currently open and how many will need to be open in 15 or 30 minutes. This way there will always be a cashier waiting for you. Customer satisfaction has improved by 24% and not only that but also the associates are happier with these new cheerful shoppers.
Retail Green, a company from Manteca, California, has teamed up with the emirate of Dubai’s administration in order to provide them with what he describes as a “non-intrusive platform that produces receipts for retail sales without ever producing a hard copy receipt”. While this may appear simple, it is in fact something that could eliminate those pain points once and for all. Instant check out and real time bank account balance spring up, but once retailers will adopt this system it will be a sure way to a centralised data bank. Customers will receive uniformity and practicality in their receipts and retailers will also benefit from a constant update in trends as they are happening and some much needed help with bookkeeping and inventory analysis.
A UK travelling agency wouldn’t be a likely place for somebody looking for retail innovation, but with a globalised world comes a need for more and more exotic holiday locations. Thomson Travel’s concept store will feature the now usual myriad if interactive surfaces, from storefront video wall to the advice bar where customers can check offers and speak to staff. The truly innovative aspect of this agency’s plan is offering the customers the chance to sample their holiday in a booth where it will be projected for them. They said it best: “Customers will be able to immerse themselves in stunning, rich and evocative content as they research and browse our unique holidays in-store.”
American home retailer Lowes understands one of the most important things about shopping: it’s not just the purchase itself but rather a mix of discovery, decision, research and feedback. Realizing that to bring back the brick-and-mortar shopper you need to give them something that they can’t find online , Lowes has decided to put a virtual reality showcase in their stores. The meaning of this would feel at home in a Star Trek episode. The retailer plans to build “Holorooms” that the customer can just step into and start designing their own setting and experience everything in 3D. When the customer is done, the room records all the items necessary turning everything into a fun and easy way to take care of the dreaded furniture shopping.
Hointer and MDS
To sum up this top, we thought it was fitting to show the good students last. MDS is a fast fashion retailer in Singapore that is making sure their customers receive the fastest and most practical shopping experience. To compete with the online environment, they teamed up with US developers Hointer, known for the Hointer Beta Stores, in creating what should be the prototype for every fashion retailer out there. With former Amazon executive Nadia Shouraboura helming the project, Hointer and MDS have taken what was before an apparel store that targeted men and was powered by robots and adapted it for the huge Womenswear market in Asia. The Hointer experience has 3 easy steps: reinvent in-store service with mobile devices that provide a customized experience, augment in-store marketing through social media sharing and a general online presence and engage the robot . Yes, the robots are back. After deciding on a product, a robot will deliver it to your fitting room within 30 seconds. MDS’s testimonial says it all: “Our manpower needs have been reduced from about four to five staff members on weekdays and up to six or seven on weekends, on average, to only three at any point in time. More importantly, it offers a different, ‘cooler’ shopping experience”.. We couldn’t agree more.