Retail tech isn’t just the “next big thing.” It’s innovation and the integration of new marketing tech and prop tech that’s not only enabling some brick-and-mortar shops to keep their doors open and compete with online options, but actually enhance customer experiences and grow revenue while others fall. While some of the newer retail tech seems fit for sci-fi movies, other concepts are within reach for most any pop-up shop. Take a look.
ZARA IS USING ROBOTICS TO SPEED PICK-UP TIMES
The Spanish fashion chain Zara has a good thing going with in-store pickups. Customers can order online and get same-day pickup when they visit the store. The popularity of the model has unfortunately led to some lengthy waits when people stop by to get their goods, which sometimes means there’s no time savings in ordering online versus visiting the shop. While the flagship store was getting a revamp, the company opted to open a pop-up shop in London, done up as a concept store that merges the best of online experiences with a physical presence.
“Shoppers can pay for purchases through mobile phones, or by using the Zara app or the Inditex Group app, InWallet, or a self-checkout area. The store will run on a smart system that aims to reduce emissions and saving energy,” WWD’sLorelei Marfil reported around the time of launch. In addition to this, the shop utilized robots to collect orders from the back room and deposit them in drop boxes for easy collection by customers.
WAL-MART IS HAVING ROBOTS SCAN ON-SHELF STOCK
“When we first deployed a robot in a store, the associates were the people that understood it first,” Bossa Nova Chief Business Officer Martin Hitch toldMIT Technology Review’s Erin Winick. His company is responsible for the development of robots which move through the aisles of select Wal-Mart stores, scanning shelves as they go. “This boring, repetitive task of scanning the shelves—we have yet to meet someone who has liked to do that,” he continued. “Employees instantly become the advocates for the robot.”
He says that the employees hold naming contests for the bots and appreciate that they’re handling more mundane tasks, like ensuring pricing and labelling is accurate and verifying shelves are stocked. Meanwhile, customers largely ignore the robots and seem comfortable around the retail tech. It wasn’t always this way, though. The company initially used toy cars equipped with working turn signals to show customers where a bot would be headed next.
“People didn’t understand what it was doing. They didn’t expect to see cars driving around their retail store—they expected more subtle cues. So today when our robot moves it emits a sound so it doesn’t surprise people, and it uses light to indicate when people get too close.” Yes, even big businesses like Wal-Mart strike out with their tech sometimes, but they’re sticking with it to find out what works best.
THE CHILDREN’S PLACE IS FOCUSING ON OMNI-CHANNEL MARKETING TECH
CEO Jane Elfers says Children’s Place hired a data scientist in 2017 to help get their customer data cleaned up. Prior to enlisting the help of a pro, data from online sales and in-store purchases was separate. With the two areas integrated, “it will help make acquisition, engagement and retention strategies more personal,” she says. While the company is focusing more on how to leverage the digital realm, it realizes that omnichannel marketing will be a major contributor to success in the future.
HUGO BOSS IS USING AUGMENTED REALITY
One of the things we mentioned in “Visual Merchandising- a Window of Experiential Opportunity” is how companies like Hugo Boss are using some epic retail tech to draw people into stores. The company sent several people dressed as Santa out to pass out cards, which then gave the cardholders access to a personalised display on the storefront window. Following the show, viewers were encouraged to pop inside to see yet another VR display; their card became a poker deck, offering up big wins to some.
READY TO TRY OUT SOME RETAIL TECH OF YOUR OWN?
One of the biggest challenges companies face is finding the right location for their experiential marketing campaigns and pop-up shops. Popertee has solved this—not only by providing a wealth of locations to choose from, but by introducing new technology that enables companies to find the right location based on demographics. Soon, you’ll be able to check the “PopScore” of potential locations based on your ideal audience, so you can be sure your next pop up shop is deployed exactly where it needs to be. To view our current list of available spaces,visit our listings now. If you’ve got a space you think will work for someone else,list it with us free.
Created on date: 01/10/2018
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