When technological advances started to give us things like “smart phones” and “touch screens,” the retail design industry decided to use these devices to their advantage. Not only has technology showed no sign of slowing down anytime soon, but some popular companies are beginning to benefit from implementing new strategies and plans for integrating the new-age world into their old businesses. Here is a list of 5 great tech inventions that are progressing the retail world.
No. 1: The Virtual Wallet
While there are still companies in the world that rely on cash and check payment methods, they are far and few between; and rightfully so. With the new virtual wallet technology, companies like Google and Apple are competing with major banks to offer an easier way to pay than carrying around credit cards. The virtual wallet not only stores your credit card information in the Cloud to be used for online purchases, but also allows you to make an in-person payment without even reaching into your pocket for the plastic. NFC-enabled merchants allow you to pay in-store just by tapping the back of your phone to an NFC terminal at the checkout.
No. 2: iPad Kioks
After shooting some hoops with his buddies, LeBron James stepped into (pun intended) a new business venture. When opening his apparel store “Unknwn,” in late 2011, an interactive shoe wall was born. Pairing with each shoe displayed on the wall was an interactive iPad Kiosk, allowing for user controlled interaction with a single product. The iPads not only gave the customer information about the specific shoe’s specs and prices, but also can be used to play videos and display other advertising content. And hey, it really made for an upscale-looking store.
No. 3: Whispering Windows
When Gap decided to begin the “Denim Moves You” campaign, it probably was a given that the color scheme would be blue. But, nobody expected them to have “invisible audio” window displays in their flagship stores in London, Paris, Rome and Milan. The device converts the window surface into a speaker, which for Gap means projecting the sound from the Lil’ Buck dancing video displayed on the six 46-inch LCD screens to the outside world. This technology not only amuses the people walking by who are confused where the sound is coming from, but also is an attention grabber as a “smart” store window.
No. 4: Virtual Fashion Mirrors
What if I told you that it was possible to try on new clothes in a store without stepping foot into a dressing room? No, I am not going crazy. StyleMe Mirrors, developed by Cisco, feature build-in 3D cameras that superimpose virtual outfits over the “reflections” of shoppers. With basic hand movements, customers can choose from pre-loaded images to “try on” their future purchases and place them into a virtual collection, which can be e-mailed to them, QR codes and all!
No. 5: Order Tracker
If you have ever found yourself wondering, “what on earth is taking so long for the pizza to get here!” then you probably aren’t ordering from Domino’s. The integration of their new “Tracker” technology keeps customers informed of the status of their order, from the prep stage all the way to when it walks out the door for delivery. Not only is this a cool way for Domino’s to establish a trusting relationship with their customers, but it really is more enjoyable to wait for your food to arrive when you can see it being made.
We think these ideas are pretty cool. If you think your retail design needs an upgrade to keep up with the growing advances in technology, why dont you let us do an audit for you and tell you how to improve!