With stores getting more hi-tech and personalised, and online shopping becoming more advanced, retailers are investing in new tricks to get you to buy more with them.
Get ready for the future of creepy shopping.
Welcome to the world where beacons will activate as you enter a store, sending nearby assistants and tablets your information and shopping preferences.
As you make your way through clothes racks to browse, all effort will be taken out when hangers linked to the beacons activate and flash so you know where to head to find items to pair with what you’ve got.
Information would be collected based on what’s currently in your online shopping baskets and what you’ve bought in the past and be connected to what others are buying to recommend matching pieces to complete a look.
Brett Raven, chief information officer with Big Red Group, said this kind of future was not that far away, with stores already using beacon technology to collect foot traffic and tailor advertising for customers.
He said with the face of customer experience changing massively over the past decade and the industry set to evolve even further with the introduction of artificial intelligence and personalisation, Mr Raven said retailers would need to further innovate the shopping experience.
Mr Raven said the “blended online to bricks and mortar experience” was key these days.
He said stores were starting to combine their online e-commerce shopping experience with in-store personalisation.
A store assistant would come over with a tablet, know the customer’s name and look up their profile to help them.
“It’s a Trojan Horse way of starting that process,” he said.
“But it requires your consent, it’s not like Big Brother kind of stuff.
“As consumers we need to be open to that. There’s a grey area around privacy concerns that people would have to accept to proceed with this.”
Ideas like this and other ways for brands to innovate to survive in the retail industry are set to be shared at the upcoming Online Retailer Expo and Conference this month.
Attendees will hear from world-class keynote speakers, including the co-founding executive of Netflix, Mitch Lowe, chief operating officer of The Iconic, Anna Lee, and group general manager e-commerce of Cotton On, Brendan Sweeney.
Mr Raven will also speak at the event, having worked in software development for over 25 years.
He said the future shopping experience would be a step-by-step process.
Customers would have to register online, create a shopping cart, give stores permission to access their information and then the beacon would activate in store and feed into that platform, tailoring personal recommendations in store.
He said while the idea of “smart hangers” was still just that, such a technology isn’t that far-fetched.
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