Amazon changed the way most of us shop online, but walking into a store hasn’t evolved far beyond picking up a product or trying on an item of clothing, and then waiting in the checkout queue.
Thanks to a few innovative upstart companies, that’s beginning to change. At Dx3 2014, several of these companies will participate in creating an interactive and data-infused shopping experience on the show floor called the Retail Collective, presented by MasterCard.
“The physical store is in essence becoming like the web,” said retail futurist and speaker Doug Stephens, who is also Curator of the Retail Collective. “Stores can become as responsive, reactive and proactive as online retailers are and begin to gain some of that advantage.”
Collecting visitor data, creating responsive displays and removing barriers to purchase are some of the ways physical stores are catching up to the web. The Retail Collective is the first time that several retail technology providers will collaborate to create one integrated shopping experience.
“So from a retailer standpoint, this is really a golden opportunity to come in and walk through the experience and see how that feels, as opposed to reading about it or watching some promotional video about it,” Stephens said.
The Retail Collective will bring together:
- Automated retail store technology from Hointer
- Store analytics from RetailNext
- Interactive displays by Perch
- Real time marketing optimization platform Nomi
- Paypass & Masterpass integration from MasterCard
- Virtual fitting rooms by Fitting Reality
- Virtual shelving and store fronts by iQmetrix
“We’ve been hearing a lot about this stuff… and yet, it’s very difficult to understand the true, tangible impact on customer behaviour unless you’re able to experience these things yourself.”
Walking through the Retail Collective store will demonstrate the possibilities for retail that are available today. In the product area, interactive display tables respond to touch from customers and products, in the clothing area, try on a new shirt in a virtual fitting room mirror. Finally, have clothes delivered to your change room using robotic delivery.
At the end, everyone that walks through the Retail Collective will see the analytics that powered and measured their shopping experience. That data includes how many people are in the store, what products they’re interested in, and how they navigated the store.
“It’s a global first to bring together a disparate group of technologies and actually have them stitch that together into a consistent experience,” Stephens said.
The idea is to provide a customized shopping experience for consumers, and, for retailers, a peek behind the curtain at the analytics that make the experience possible and measurable.
The end result is, according to Stephens, “bringing the store forward to become far more responsive, reactive and web-like, and also removing a lot of the pain points from the shopping experience, making retail just that much more enjoyable.”
The technology exists to compete with digital retailers, and getting up to speed on the latest retail possibilities is the only way to do it. The Retail Collective is a look at how that can be done.
“So now I think the retailers are able to take back some of that ground if they pay attention to these technologies.”]
Dx3 is Canada’s largest conference and trade show focused on digital marketing, digital advertising and digital retailing, to be held March 5 and 6 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The two-day event will feature speakers from Microsoft, Google, and Twitter, 120 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees from some of Canada’s leading brands and agencies.