For the past handful of years, technology and innovation have been changing the way in which people shop.
According to Olga Patel from Mattel during a session at the iMedia Commerce Summit, changes that we have already been seeing impact shopping in the areas of Experience and Convenience.
When it comes to the experience, innovation doesn’t necessarily need to mean technology advancements. For example, anyone who has a young daughter has been exposed to the experience driven brand, American Girl. When visiting the stores, girls are encouraged to bring their American Girl dolls for dining at the Café, where the dolls are given their own high chair at the table. Additional experiences such as girls taking their dolls to the American Girl hair salon and numerous special events truly draw in young girls to the overall experience and draw big dollars right out of the wallets of parents.
Additionally, technology innovations that have been positively impacting both the experience and convenience of shopping are on the brink of taking us to the world many of us never imaged while watching the Jetsons growing up.
Already, we have seen technology advancements encroaching on science fiction being used by companies like Lowe’s with their Holoroom, giving consumers the ability to bring in their room dimensions, select the items to fill their room, and then visualize the room through 3-D and augmented reality on their iPad.
Another example is the new Fire phone by Amazon which has an application allowing you to take a picture of an object (a shirt you see one else wearing for example), have the object recognized by a database, and then give you options to purchase that object.
Even shopping for clothes will be changing. Smart mirrors that allow you to try on clothes virtually and provide recommendations are in our near future. Another game changer for retail will be virtual reality, especially for things like clothing shopping, test driving cars, experiencing the layout of restaurants before making a reservation, etc… The applications are only limited by our own imagination.