Diverse and innovative tech tools are invented and released on a daily basis in an attempt to constantly advance the way we go about our day-to-day lives - and integral to this everyday routine is how and where we shop.
In 2016, the retail industry generated £358 billion in the UK alone - with an estimated third of consumer spending spent in this sector. It’s no wonder, then, that the industry is constantly looking for new ways to make customer experiences as fast and as fluid as possible through a range of online and offline techniques.
From interactive mirrors to unique shelving solutions that make click and collect services a quick, hassle-free experience, we’re exploring just 4 of many new ways that retailers are changing shopping for the better.
Image source: Unsplash
Self-checkout machines are now old news, having been replaced with the latest tech trend to gain popularity amongst supermarket retailers this year - self-scan handsets. These handheld devices allow shoppers to scan items while they journey through the store, therefore removing the stressful process of having to quickly pack away a large food shop - with users instead of being able to do this as they go, no questions asked. All items are stored on the device, allowing users to pay efficiently and securely at an individual self-scan desk with a simple scan of a barcode.
With the steady and continuous rise of social media platforms as powerful consumer outlets, people everywhere are turning to platforms such as Instagram to get their daily fashion fix. So that users no longer have to trawl through multiple different sites looking for that top that such-and-such a celebrity or influencer was seen wearing, leading online fashion retailer ASOS has launched a new update that allows customers find the same item of clothing, or a similar alternative - all with a snap of a photo.
Instead of spending time guessing and typing in a variety of different key terms into the search bar, the app now lets customers add a photo into their search and, within a matter of seconds, the app will find hundreds of products of a similar design - helping users get their hands on the perfect garment without delay.
Click and collect
From online hacks to efficient offline services, customers can enjoy a hassle-free consumer experience right from the first click until the product’s safe and timely delivery. With click and collect services, users are able to order and receive your items, even if you won’t be in for delivery. Both store stockrooms and designated click and collect areas are utilizing shelving techniques that allow for a large number of parcels - often regardless of their size - to arrive in their storage premises on a daily basis.
With so many designated click and collect areas dotted around the country, customers are able to collect their items at a time that suits them, up to 10 days after they’ve been delivered.
In their New York flagship store, Ralph Lauren have installed the latest retail technology innovation in their dressing rooms - interactive mirrors. The mirrors give shoppers an opportunity to change the colour or size of an item, as it provides suggestions of additional items that go with the piece they’ve chosen - almost like having their own personal stylist. Better yet, the room’s lighting can also be altered - eliminating the need to return items, once shoppers get them home to find out their white linen trousers are a little too ‘thin’ to wear in daylight.
Image source: Unsplash
Whether you’re an omnichannel retailer with a thriving business across your website and brick-and-mortar store or you’re looking to make a greater investment in one specific channel, the ever-evolving potential of retail technology is seeing to it that, no matter how we shop, customers are given the most streamlined journey to satisfaction possible.
Simon Mitchell has run successful companies in Europe and the US that are focused on delivering exceptional value to clients – while Action Storage offers a diverse range of storage products, along with the technical expertise to help clients’ businesses operate more efficiently. In Simon’s words, that’s a rewarding place to be