The retail experience of the future is going to be very much technology fuelled. If retailers are to stay relevant and prominent within the market they need to invest into these side of things hard to innovate at pace and compete, counteracting the drastic effects the pandemic has had on the physical stores. Retailers are turning to technology more than ever to reshape day to day operations and create immersive and more convenient experiences to meet consumers increasing expectations and get them back into the physical stores.
With drone delivery trials well underway after being given the green light by UK aviation regulators, we could see technology soaring and logistics / supply chains transforming within the future. Providing a complete revolution into how companies and brands can deliver their products to their consumers doorsteps. With the likes of Tesco, Coca Cola and Amazon, partaking in the trials, we are sure to see a lot more big-name retailers join the game. With many challenges and factors to be considered, such as the security, government regulation, the cost, technology constraints and environmental impact, its unknown as to when we will see this new innovative delivery service take to the skies. But all we know is that it will.
No Checkout Stores
Soon we could be shopping in stores with not only no checkouts, but no staff too. Using technology at the core of this brand-new shopping experience; cameras to track the items customers pick up and put in their baskets and using smartphones to charge them. The likes of Morrisons are currently testing the concept and the technology behind it in order to create a more seamless customer experience. With Amazon already one step ahead launching their Amazon Fresh, cashless check-out free stores in London this year.
Automated Vending Machines
With Costa already moving their self-service coffee machines into many stores across the UK. Pret a Manger are using this concept as a way to battle the severe staff shortages and decreasing footfall caused by the pandemic. Machines that can operate 24/7 in train stations and convenience stores is a more economical and convenient alternative, that can still give the same barista experience like a physical café.
Another way of shopping your favourite retail brands in a more convenient way has arrived. ITV alongside Boots, have launched their latest venture, shoppable TV. Allowing viewers to shop items from its programmes directly on screen, featuring products during programmes and notifying viewers that products on screen are available. They can then select with their remote and make a purchase via the site or link sent to their phone.
Hotter Shoes has become the first UK footwear brand to place AR in its app, to allow customers to try on products fit, colour and design virtually all from the comfort of their own home. Accelerating its transformation to become a digital first retailer. There stores now compromise industry leading tech too, in the form of 3D foot measuring tech, offering a bespoke shoe fitting service.
Zara have been utilising AR technology in their stores. Enabling consumers to stand in an area of the shop floor / street and use their phone as a lens when held up to a sensor, so they can see different pieces on various models to give shoppers a clearer idea of the way the clothes hang on the body, and how they could be styled without needing to even venture into a changing room.
Nike launched a new initiative based around an experience that is both convenient and immersive. Alongside customisation studios and instant checkout points, there is a ‘speed shop’ whereby customers can reserve shoes online, arrive at the store through a dedicated entrance, find the locker with their name on, unlock it via their smartphone and access their shoes, without even having to talk to a member of staff.
As we can see technology is at the heart of maxmising the customer experience for most organisations, both now and in the future. We have helped various companies, in many sectors implement real change through embedding new technology into their operations, helping them to become more efficient and effective. To see what your experience with us could be like explore our case studies or get in touch today.