A peak into the future of retail
Mobile commerce, intelligent websites and more
So what will retail look like over the course of the next decade? We’re not predicting the first Starbucks on Mars or that McDonald's will start teleporting Big Macs to your home, but here are a few forward-looking examples of technology at work in the world of retail tomorrow.
Mobile commerce becomes the norm
Mobile commerce will be commonplace and location marketing will be the new point of purchase.
Social media eclipses e-mail
While it might take a couple of years yet, social media is growing at such an exponential rate that it could replace e-mail as the main method of customer communications and digital marketing.
Reality gets augmented
Augmented reality is a term for a live view of a physical, real-world environment, with elements augmented by computer-generated imagery. At NRF’s Big Show in New York earlier this year, attendees could see how images of superimposed watches and dresses looked on their own bodies.
Signage gets personal and interactive
In-store signage will be replaced by digital screens, which will be interactive and personalized. Wet Seal, a young women’s apparel retailer, is testing in-store computers now. An iPhone app will allow a teen to build outfits on her mobile device; when she goes into the store to buy a blouse found online, a sales representative can show her how that garment was used in other outfits created by her peers, increasing the likelihood of multiple product sales.
More sophisticated Web analytics and website frameworks will allow retailers to create more tailored experiences for individual consumers. Amazon.com has been a leader in this area, and other retailers are recognizing the benefit.
Advances in video analytics will enable retailers to analyze video pixels to find traffic patterns, in-store thefts and other unique customer behavior.