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New technologies support stationary stores in competition with e-commerce

Customers are becoming more and more attached to online shopping and thus sales in stationary stores are falling. Therefore, the challenge for traditional retailers is to draw customers away from computers and getting them back into stores. One way to achieve this is to transfer digital experience from the web to stationary stores.

Retailers and technology companies are working on innovative solutions that make the pain points of brick and mortar stores a thing of the past. Below we describe some of them.

Smart Mirrors

Trying on clothes is an unavoidable ritual when shopping in clothing stores, but customers do not like it. Consumers surveyed by Body Labs declared that they “hate” visits to the fitting room. At the same time, Alert Tech’s research showed that customers who try on clothes in store are almost several times more likely to purchase an item than those who just browse clothing on the sales floor. This can be solved by technological solutions, such as memory mirrors. They are equipped with a special camera, thanks to which the customer can see on the screen how the clothing looks. They can also provide a comparison of customers in two different items and even offer the option to adjust the colors without having to change the clothes.  An additional functionality is the ability to send to a friend a video presenting themselves in a given clothes using social media channels.

Shopping without queues

According to calculations, customers in the United States spend over 100 hours a year in queues. Solutions such as Amazon Go show that stores without queuing for cash registers are possible. In this case, the customer scans his store entrance using a mobile application, then scans the products he wants to buy and places them immediately in the bag. After completing shopping, he customer unchecks its exit and the payment is automatically downloaded from the credit card connected to the application. Similar solutions in the clothing industry were used by Zara, who equipped the shop at Westfield Stratford in London with self-service kiosks and customers can pay for purchases using the app.

A step further is taken by solutions in which the use of a smartphone and application is not necessary. Smart trolleys fitted with image recognition system, developed by the American start-up Caper allow the customers to grab the products they need and leave the store without scanning barcodes.

Augmented and virtual reality

Augmented and Virtual Reality are boldly entering the retail industry, and there are more and more examples of using these technologies. The example of using Augmented Reality came from IKEA concern, which introduced a special application that allows you to visualize the interior of your home / apartment, equipped with a selected set of furniture. Examples of the use of Virtual Reality can be found in the automotive industry. In Audi showrooms, after putting on special glasses, customers can sit behind the wheel of a selected car model.

The described solutions allow stationary stores not only to compete with online stores, but also can provide customers with an unforgettable shopping experience. Solutions connecting online, offline and mobile worlds seem to be the key to success.

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