What an awesome start to the day. This talk was about how new tech will be used to define retail in the years to come.
More and more people are buying online, and this is leading to the decline of the standard shopping mall. It has been predicted that within the next 10-15 years, the typical mall in USA will be history, unless it is completely reinvented. How will shopping malls reinvent themselves to stop from becoming “zombie malls”?
“Retails guys are going out of business and e-commerce will be the place where everyone buys. Software eats retail.” – Marc Anderson
The future doesn’t just happen – it needs to be carved out by people and their strategies. With this is in mind, organisations are creating a retail future out of technology centres. An example of this is Move in Sydney – a technology store focusing on mobile tech.
The panelists discussed 5 known “unknowns” regarding technology:
1. Moore’s law still holds
This is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.
2. Computing power will become almost free
3. Processors will become tiny
4. Computers will be all seeing
They’ll even be able to understand space and distance (3D)
5. Everything will be connected
Data centres are what ties all this together – enabling everything to be connected.
The future is already here – it’s just not well distributed (e.g. Apple Pay, Smart Vending). Here are ten technologies that will change the face of retail:
1. Augmented Reality
In the future, you’ll be able to view a store through a transparent screen – a display that only shows you what you need.
There will be an upsurge in individualised / personalised shopping experiences – e.g. beacon tech.
2. Shop Anywhere, Serve Anywhere
Soon we will always be just one click away from buying something.
Through the use of a Bluetooth chip, you will be able to snap a pic of an outfit that someone is wearing, and your phone will recognise the clothes – then you will be one click away from buying.
3. Smart Vending
With smart vending, you will go to a touch screen and choose what you want. Then the product will come to you.
A good example of this is the Nespresso vending machine in Barcelona airport. It looks like a store, but is like a large ATM that vends coffee.
4. Sentient Stores
Soon you will be able to interact with your favourite store through the sense of touch.
This will aid the visually impaired with a revolutionary “Guide Dots” interface.
5. Smart Shelving
When you pick something up in a store, the screen above will display helpful data (this will be personalised where possible).
6. On Demand Merchandise
3D printing will change shopping. You’ll simply take picture and out will pop a 3D version of the item.
7. Off-the-grid retail
Recently, Heineken introduced a solar powered cooler with the unique proposition: Save the planet by drinking beer.
8. NFC and Wearable payables
iWatch – Pay with Apple Watch was recently announced.
Barclays in the UK have a NFC wristband that enables “tap and go” payments.
Fashion Wearables – soon the whole wristband will become a screen.
9. Vibrant Data
Everyone carries around invisible data. Now you can take learnings from this data to serve people better – it’s the secret life of data.
10. Artificial Intelligence
Soon digital avatars will be available to convey emotion.
RoZie the Robot (image below) will be your new shopper assistant! – Scary!
One thing that technology doesn’t have and will not have is the “nose for retail”. A human has the sense of the value of the brand – technology won’t replace this.
I think these 10 points show there is a future in in-store retail and technology-wise it’s very exiting. Retailers just need to seize the day and not be scared to adopt new tech.