Here come smart stores with robots, interactive shelves – e-commerce on top tech news
Tomorrow’s retail stores want to take a page from their online rivals by embracing advanced technology — everything from helpful robots to interactive mirrors to shelves embedded with sensors.
The goal: Use these real-world store features to lure shoppers back from the internet, and maybe even nudge them to spend more in the process.
Amazon’s new experimental grocery store in Seattle [seen here], opening in early 2017, will let shoppers buy goods without needing to stop at a checkout line. Interior home design kitchen Sensors track items as shoppers put them into baskets or return them to the shelf.
Decoration home 2013 The shopper’s Amazon account gets automatically charged.
“Amazon, for good or bad, has been setting the path,” said Robert Hetu, research director at Gartner Research. Home decorating tips for renters “Each retailer is going to have to respond in some way. Home decorating ideas bathroom makeover But it’s not one-size-fits-all.”
Kroger, Neiman Marcus and Lowe’s are among the companies already experimenting with futuristic retail stores. Home decorating ideas for christmas photos Robots, for instance, could help guide shoppers to the right aisle, while augmented reality apps could help you see how a particular shade of paint will look in the living room — or how you might look in a pair of jeans. Home decoration pics Many of these technologies will be unveiled or demonstrated at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, which begins Tuesday with media previews.
Plenty of retailers have learned through trial — and error — that technology can’t get too far ahead of shoppers. Home decoration photos It has to be easy to use and beneficial to shoppers in some way, whether it’s to save time or money. Home decoration ideas for wedding If retailers get it right, they might succeed in boosting spending at retail stores at a time when consumers increasingly prefer to shop online.
Web retailers have plenty of data on their customers. Interior home decoration images Some of these online technologies can even track shoppers from site to site to lure them back with what’s known as retargeting ads — promos targeted to what that shopper has looked at before, but didn’t actually buy. Home decorating ideas painting walls Smart shelves with sensors promise the same kind of in-depth consumer behavior analytics at retail stores.
At a Kroger store in Cold Spring, Ohio, shelves currently show digitized price tags and information about the products. Room decoration with pictures The next step is to tie that to individual shoppers. Home decorating tips for small spaces For example, for a shopper who prefers gluten-free products, the price tags could light up in the aisle where all the gluten-free options are. Home decoration photos interior design The company says this will all be done with the customer’s permission.
Perch Interactive, a startup that is working with chains like Sunglass Hut and fragrance maker Jo Malone, uses laser and motion sensors to detect when a product is picked up. Ganpati decoration photos at home Perch monitors the interactions and lets retailers know what people pick up but don’t buy. Handmade home decor ideas videos It also offers recommendations: When a shopper picks up a Jo Malone product, an interactive display pops up to show a complementary fragrance.
Home improvement retailer Lowe’s is testing robots in one of its San Jose, California, store, and plans to roll them out to 10 more stores in the state this year. Home decorating ideas glass vases Besides scanning shelves for inventory, the robots can guide customers to specific products in both English and Spanish.
Shoppers will also start seeing robots that interact with them more deeply. Home interior design johor bahru Japanese joint venture SoftBank Robotics is testing a 4-foot humanoid robot called Pepper at two Westfield Malls in California. Decoration home 2015 They greet shoppers and can do a little dance, but have the potential to send messages geared to people’s age and gender through facial recognition. Home decoration tips in hindi SoftBank Robotics says it’s working with clothing retailers to help suggest outfits to shoppers.
Neiman Marcus has installed these outside fitting rooms at 20 stores to offer shoppers a 360-degree view of what an outfit looks like. Home decor ideas craft Shoppers can make side-by-side comparisons without having to try them all on. Decoration at home They can also share video with friends for feedback. Home decor tips and tricks Variations include capturing a customer’s session at the beauty counter and emailing a video to help the person recreate the look at home.
Rent the Runway, an online retailer that lets people rent high-end clothing, teamed up with Samsung to have digital displays highlight its online inventory for shoppers at a new location in New York. Decoration of small home A mirror in the store is planned to recommend items that go with what the customer is wearing.
Home improvement retailers have been embracing virtual reality and augmented reality to help shoppers figure out ways to decorate homes or apartments. Ganesh decoration at home With such technologies, shoppers wear a headset to picture how something might look in 3-D, in some cases overlaid on top of their real kitchen or living room. Home interior design low budget Home Depot’s augmented reality app lets customers upload a picture of the room on their phone and thumb through thousands of paint and stain colors until they arrive at one that’s right.
These tools should become more pervasive. Home decoration ideas for diwali At CES, a major clothing chain is expected to announce a tool for shoppers to virtually try on jeans and other items.
It hasn’t always been smooth, though. Interior home decoration games Two years ago, Wal-Mart offered a Scan & Go app for shoppers to scan items as they grabbed them from the shelves. Home decor ideas small apartment At the checkout counter, the customer merely had to scan a code to complete the transaction. Decoration of ganpati at home But Wal-Mart scrapped the project after customers found the app difficult to use.
Andy Wong, partner at Accenture’s Kurt Salmon Digital, said Wal-Mart had a tougher time because its customers are diverse and less techy overall. Interior home design vancouver By contrast, Amazon is trying out its store in Seattle, a tech center, and has a customer base already comfortable with digital shopping. Home decoration images Wong also said Amazon is smart to focus just on groceries, and he expects other retailers to follow Amazon’s lead and also focus on certain products.
In fact, shortly after Amazon announced its checkout-less store, Panasonic Corp. Home decorating inspiration pictures unveiled an unstaffed bagging system at a Lawson convenience store in Japan. Home decorating ideas for thanksgiving Shoppers place a “smart” basket with their items on a machine at checkout. Home interior ideas uk The system calculates the bill and automatically bags the items. Interior home design for small spaces Shoppers now have to scan items they put into the basket, though wireless tags coming in February will eliminate that step. Home decoration ideas for ganesh chaturthi Shoppers still have to manually pay using cash or card.
“It all has to go back to the consumer,” Gartner’s Hetu said. Home interior design wall colors “For each environment, you have to assess what the consumer will interpret as value.”
The online megastore is planning to develop its own line of workout apparel as it wades deeper into the private-label clothing business, according to several online job listings published by Amazon in December.
In a series of postings for “brand manager” positions, Amazon said it was looking for candidates “to build authentic activewear private label brands that have compelling and unique DNA and deliver amazing consumer valued innovation.”
That’s a mouthful! But Google can help explain. Home decoration ideas 2015 If you enter “activewear” on the search engine, you’ll find ads showing yoga pants and running tights from brands like Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Nike and Under Armour.
One of the job listings adds that the ideal candidate would be someone who has a “passion for sport, athletes and those living an active lifestyle” and has “experience studying (athletic, activewear) trends, customer behavior and shopping patterns.”
The plans for Amazon workout clothing mark the online retailer’s latest move to build out its own stable of clothing brands while simultaneously riding the “athleisure” wave — that is, the trend of wearing workout clothes like yoga pants in other settings, like the office.
Retailers like Lululemon and Fabletics, the Kate Hudson-led brand, have profited from the trend, helping to push the U.S. Room decoration pictures in pakistan activewear market to an estimated $44 billion in sales. Interior home remodeling ideas Recent data, however, suggests that market saturation is causing prices to drop.
In the last year alone, Amazon has quietly unveiled at least eight of its own clothing brands including a women’s label called Society New York and a kids clothing line dubbed Scout & Ro.
Most recently, it revealed a men’s buttoned-down shirt brand – creatively named Buttoned Down — that sells dress shirts starting at $39. Home decor ideas for kid bedrooms They are only available to Amazon Prime members.
Private-label brands are often viewed as a way for retailers to increase profit margins while beating big-name brands on price. Decoration outside home Retailers can do this because they can feature their brands in their store without having to spend the big marketing dollars that traditional consumer brands have to. Interior home designs rossendale These in-house brands also typically don’t require as much research and development money to produce.
In the case of Amazon, the private-label clothing project is one in which CEO Jeff Bezos is personally interested. Home decoration pictures pakistan “I think there’s so much opportunity for invention there,” he told Fortune in an interview published in March.
Amazon’s vast database of transaction data and consumer browsing habits could give it a leg up on competition in developing items it knows its customers want, industry experts say. Decoration home modern Overall, some equity research analysts predict that Amazon will pass Macy’s this year as the largest seller of apparel in the U.S.
Amazon’s private-label push also involves selling hundreds of products from kitchen knives to batteries under the AmazonBasics name. Home decorating ideas country style Additionally, the online retailer recently began selling consumer packaged goods like snacks and detergent under Amazon-created brands like Happy Belly and Presto.