Tomorrow’s retail tech today
Date: March 6, 2014
Published on: StrategyOnline.ca
(Below is an excerpt of the original article.)
Here’s a head-scratcher for you. The store of the future could very well be a moving, talking, living mould of a website. That webpage-lookalike will, in essence, be able to measure traffic, dwell time, hot spots, conversion rates and queues, in real-time. The kicker is that the store of the future is actually the store of today, with retailers like American Apparel and Bloomingdale’s already playing with in-store analytics, using cameras and WiFi to track traffic, frequently visited departments and average visitor times (for more on RetailNext products, see below).
This new reality is currently being demonstrated at the DX3 conference in Toronto. The in-store analytics is one of eight different technologies curated by Doug Stephens (president and founder of consulting company Retail Prophet) and combined to create a fully-fledged concept store called the Retail Collective. While most of the tech companies exhibiting in the space are based in markets outside the Canadian border, they are searching for innovative retail clients to partner with north of the border.
StrategyDaily entered the doors of the Collective on Wednesday to test out some of the best tech first-hand. Here’s what we found.
Who: The Mobile Shop at Loblaws
What: The company’s Shelf product hasn’t yet launched, but expect to see the platform that bridges the digital and physical worlds in the second quarter of this year. Using Loblaws Canada as a demo retailer, the company shows how shoppers can touch and try out tangible items of kettles and kitchenware on a shelf, while also interacting with a large screen above.
Customers can browse different colours and styles of the products not displayed (and sitting in the store’s backroom or warehouse), order and have them later shipped to their home. The entire experience imitates online shopping with the ability to compare products, access stock info and prices, as well as watch ads for each of the products.