Stores become more digital than ever

In the future, literally every kind of store will be a connected store: supermarkets to hardware stores, travel agencies to banks, bakery shops to butchers. They’re going to create all kinds of ways to navigate the customer journey, either at home or in-store, with options to order from a mobile device, in-store Internet terminal or other device. Every kind of digital technology will be used in connected stores to improve customer service. Beacons in the store will make sure online and offline shopping blend into a single shopping experience, allowing retailers and tech-companies to track customer movement in-store, monitor which departments they go to, and so on.

Stores are already tapping into all sorts of digital technology to involve their customers in their goods and services. More and more stores (IKEA) allow you to check relevant product information by scanning a barcode or QR-code on your smartphone. Others (Target) have special apps that give extra value to -in-store online shopping by offering discounts. Still others (Timberland) have a tablet desk to help simplify online shopping for customers in the store or provide extra service options (Argos).

Miniature smart screens on hangers can display dynamic product and price information and even show how popular an item is (the number of likes it has on Facebook), as well as how many items are in stock. Norwegian firm Thinfilm has smart labels, equipped with computer chip, which can be used by supermarkets or other stores to track the freshness of milk. An app can warn customers against picking up anything near its sell-by date. Soon, your smartphone will be able to suggest which wine best complements the food in your trolley. These smart technologies give customers a whole new shopping experience on the street, in-store and online – but seducing the customer is still an art. So, what else is new?

Source: The End of Online Shopping: The future of retail in an always connected world