The technology I like best in retail can be summed up by thinking about the 3 Es:
What enables, expedites, and/or elevates the store experience for tasks a customer doesn’t need a human to perform?
Examples that come to mind first:
- Being able to shop the mannequin, now available via mobile app at Nike (and where else?)
- Gaining a wealth of personalization/customization options, as seen at the Fanatics-powered NBA store
- Navigating a big box store to find a specific item in its designated aisle, as I’ve done at Lowe’s and Target
- Performing the simplest of dressing room tasks — especially tracking down a sales person, but also seeing additional product info, available at Rebecca Minkoff and RL (but fewer features than they have would be fine with me)
- Skipping the queue and walking out, purchase in hand, which Amazon Go is doing best but which I used the Apple Store app to do for years prior
AR is also gaining buzz and I can see it being used in unnecessary ways, but I’ve written about why I’m enthusiastic about it and how my team has integrated it here.
Less-discussed but also something I’m looking at is personalized digital displays.
I’d love to hear if you disagree with any of the above or have favorites I haven’t mentioned, and whether they fit into the 3 Es or not.