The next trend in retail: Digital disruption

Link to original article.

Date: March 262014

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(Below is an excerpt of the original article.)

By Karim Kanji

Earlier this month, Canada’s brightest and most curious minds in digital came together in Toronto at Dx3Canada’s third annual conference for agencies, brands, publishers and retailers.

Featured speakers came from companies such as BuzzFeed, Canadian Tire, Google, Flight Centre, President’s Choice, Yahoo!, Rogers, Walmart, Visa, MasterCard, Adidas, and Twitter. Topics ranged from e-commerce, social, mobile, digital, data and content marketing.

However, one of the more forward thinking aspects of Dx3Canada was the Retail Collective” which was curated by advisory board member, Doug Stephens, the founder of Retail Prophet Inc. In an effort to bring the future of retail shopping and experiences to today’s audience and forward digital thinkers, Stephens sought to create an example of what the store of the future would be like today.

The Future

Six forward thinking companies were part of the Retail Collective:

FittingReality: Brands itself as a cloud-based augmented reality fitting room. Think of it this way: When you’re on a retailer’s website using FittingReality’s product, you will be able to virtually try clothes on and see how you might look. How does the retailer and FittingReality obtain your image? You send it to them via your choice of a webcam, Kinect, or a mobile phone.

Hointer: This company combines the mobile tendencies of today’s savvy shopper with the true flexibility of mobile shopping. While shopping, customers can use the Hointer app to order clothing to try on in the fitting room, request more sizes, and to pay for their purchases – all from their smartphones.

iQmetrix: Allows retailers to provide an endless array of information and product experiences to discriminating shoppers using touch display screens. The company empowers the shopper with loads of product information. The hope, for retailers, is that consumers will put down their smartphone (and stop showrooming) and use the in-store technology instead.

RetailNext: This retailer-focused analytics dashboard provides insights as to how shoppers are behaving and how stores are performing, using cameras mounted in-store, as well as other strategies. As a result, stores are able to create data-driven strategies to optimize the shopper experience and profit.

Perch: Allows any surface to become an interactive display with the product being an integral part of the experience. Imagine going shopping for a pair of shoes and being prompted to pick up the shoe to take a closer look at it. In doing so, you’ll trigger an interactive display that may show you a video of how the shoe was made, testimonials on people who endorse the shoe and even social media mentions of the product. With Perch, accessing product information becomes an experience.

Nomi: This company allows retailers to use mobile technologies such as iBeacons to measure and improve retail foot traffic, loyalty, sales and even staffing requirements.