In 2016 we saw huge advancements in technology designed to improve the customer experience. Leading the pack was Amazon with one-hour delivery and smart speakers.
You would think these are enough new additions to keep Amazon out of the news for a while. But in typical Amazon fashion, the behemoth has set its sights on physical retail. Amazon now plans to open an Amazon Go convenience store in Seattle that has "just walk out" technology. This will allow customers to pick up products, pay via their phones, and walk out without waiting in line.
Other retailers are following suit, and these three retailers are leading the charge:
Customers will experience a VR roller-coaster ride along a yellow lubrication strip, which weaves around a man shaving before diving into his bristles to showcase the new product's ability to give a smooth close-up shave.
After launching in February 2017 in Australia, the experience is stopping at a number of Coles stores before being rolled out to pharmacies across the country.
In 2017, London-based retailer River Island will be rolling out a radio frequency identification (RFID) solution at all 280 stores, allowing the retailer to track all of the garments it sells.
The deployment of RFID will initially monitor only the overall inventory levels within each store, and thereby enable a more accurate automated replenishment.
The implementation follows a pilot carried out at seven stores over several years which was proven to raise River Island's inventory accuracy to 97%, while also significantly boosting sales.
MediaMarkt’s flagship store is introducing a "Store Guide” app that allows customers to use their smartphones to locate products quickly in-store. This wouldn't be possible without Philips Lighting’s indoor positioning system, as well as indoor mapping from Aisle411.
Each Philips LED luminaire transmits its location through light invisible to the human eye but picked up by the customer's smartphone camera. This information works with the retailer’s app to provide location-based services such as finding products or receiving special offers with guaranteed privacy as no personal data is collected.
It looks like 2017 will surpass 2016 in retail innovation coming to the mainstream.