October 17, 2015 admin

How technology is changing the retail world


New technology is revolutionising the traditional store concept. We have seen striking progress in technology over the last few years and it is affecting the way customers experience retail.

Consumer are becoming are far more tech and are demanding a multi channel shopping experience with more flexibility, an improved experience and exceptional

Augmented reality, contactless payment, 3D printing, Ibeacon or digital mannequin are some new methods of engagement that retailers are implementing on the high Street to drive engagement and boost sales.

1) Ibeacon

Ibeacon, Apple ́s technology standard which allows Mobile Apps to listen for signals from beacons in the physical world. This technology allows Mobile Apps to understand their position on a micro-local scale and deliver content to users based on location.
There are a number of UK brands and retail stores such as, John Lewis Partnership House of Fraser, JD Sports, Oasis, Hawes & Curtis, Forever 21 that have used Ibeacon technology in their stores to communicate personalised promotional offers to their customers.
Ted Baker introduced mannequins equipped with beacon system showing details about the clothes and accessories the mannequin is wearing, including, the price, where the items could be found within the store and access links to purchase the items directly from Ted Baker’s website.

Tesco have trailed ibeacons while promoting the new Magnum ice cream campaign. The trial geo-targeted customers in close proximity to a Tesco store, sending them exclusive discounts for the new Magnum Pink and Black ice cream. This was not first time that Tesco used this technology in their stores as shown in this video.

2) NFC

NFC- Near Field Communications is a portable device that establishes peer-to-peer radio communications, passing data from one device to another by tapping them together or by having them in close proximity.Retailers such as Argos, Harvey Nichols, Made or Burberry are or have used this system to allow their customers to connect and interact with items within store.

Harvey Nichols put tablets in store for customers to interact with products via NFC tags on shelves. The stickered shelves would advertise what sort of content to expect, perhaps some Pinterest boards showing pieces being worn, or celebrities wearing a particular outfit.

Customers could shop alone or with a store associate and save a ‘collection’ of scanned items when finished which could be emailed to them when they registered and email address. Harvey Nichols were able to use the email to re-engage with the customer after they had left the store.

3) Augmented reality

Augmented reality is the way of fusing the real and the virtual world together, by overlaying digital data onto real-world analogue views. Augmented reality applications are starting to be very common in retail with Top Shop, Shisedio, American Apparel, Ikea, Argos, Converse, Tesco or Burberrys among other brands introducing it into their stores.

TopShop installed during Fashion London Week an augmented reality area in the window of Topshop ́s flagship store in Oxford Circus for that fans would be able to put one of five Oculus Rift with Oculus Rift to experience the show.

American Apparel uses augmented reality to allow their customers to connect their renowned colourful product collections with smartphone as shown in this video.

4) Magic Mirrors

Japanese brand Shiseido is using a new technology to create digital shopping experiences in some London stores. Their “cosmetic mirrors” are digital screens that a customer can use to scan product barcodes and see a virtual image of her faces with that product virtually applied to it.

Mark and Spencer use this element in some stores in UK allowing customers to browse not only the clothing lines available in-store, but also the extended ranges available online. They can order clothes for collection or home delivery, and use barcode scanners for product ratings or reviews and suggested accessories.


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