Shopping Technology: Where is Retail Heading?
As we rely more and more on technology – toothbrushes with computers inside them and cars that know every shortcut – it is only a matter of time before our retail experience is ruled by technology. Shopping technology has already begun, you have devices such as self-scanners in Supermarkets that take away any need for human interaction. But we have only just scratched the surface of what is going to happen next. These four different technologies are going to change the way we shop forever:
1. Holograms and Augmented Reality
The technology of Holograms and Augmented Reality is fairly easy, even for the people with the most basic knowledge of all things technological. Because of this it will become a common occurrence on nearly every store that you visit. They are simple technologies to implement that can make a huge difference to the shopping experience. Imagine seeing what an item of clothing would like on without ever having to take your clothes off and that item never leaving its hanger? Clothes shopping would become quicker and with much hassle. There is also trails of glasses that you can put on that will show you all the ingredients that are included in a food. This would make it easier for people with allergies.
2. Smart Shelves
This is a technology that also uses holograms. A hologram image is placed on a smart shelf – such as a food item. You will then scan the shelf as it will have a QR code on it using an app on your smartphone. Instead of having to carry the product home (something that is being gradually phased out) you will then have it delivered in a matter of hours. This is being tried out in South Korea with a great deal of success.
3. Speed Shopping
Going for a food shopping can be a lifeless chore. Dragging your feet around a Tesco or ASDA for an hour is never a fun experience. Technology, however, is changing the food shop. The idea is that when you walk in to the supermarket you would input your shopping list in to an app. This will then link to in-store beacons that locate where exactly the products are. A map will then show up on your phone showing you the quickest route through the store so that you can get in, shop and out again in no time. This app will also be able to tell you if something is out of stock meaning there is no waiting time as an employee searches for the product.
4. Interactive Windows
In the future, there will be no need for employees to dress up mannequins so they can be placed in shop windows. Instead of the windows you see now there will be interactive screens. You will be able to browse the entire stores catalogue and be able to see if it is actually worth going inside or not. These can also be placed in dressing room mirrors so that you can try on a selection of different outfits by using hologram technology. This is currently being developed in America at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.