How did digitalization challenge the retail structure and its customer engagement techniques?

The retail industry has come a long way. Since the 1900`s when the local corner stores dominated the game, to department stores, malls, and e-commerce. Along with digitalization, not only customer behavior changed but the way business is done has to change constantly.

Thankfully, the retail industry is always on the go and looking into the future when it comes to new ideas, trends, and innovations.

Here are the 7 creative ideas that helped the industry catch up with the fast digitalization and engage the consumers both online and in the real world.

It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s a Drone?

As a result of various idea testings during the past few years, Amazon decided the best way to deliver to customers is direct to their yards – and there are already demo videos showing how it’s supposed to be done! The design process is still on an ongoing basis and it is going to evolve over time as the tests are being made on how to deliver the packages in a variety of environments. Amazon is currently working with regulators all over the world to make the Prime Air internationally available.

Check out this video to see the whole process from packing to delivery!

A Step before Augmented Reality!

When it comes to In-Store enhancements for customers, retailers are getting more and more creative in the interaction with their customers.

Aisle411 makes it easy for you to find the exact item you are looking for by downloading their app. What the app does for you, it shows you the map with the exact aisle and the positioning of the item you want to buy. Saves a lot of time, doesn’t it?

For retailers and venue owners, Aisle411 offers a mobile indoor mapping and location services platform that allows them to offer solutions to guests, staff and corporate level analytics teams. Some of the use cases include navigating guests and associates to points of interest, building assets, and even product shelf level accuracy navigation of shopping lists, all with context and location relevant information that enhances the experience.

Standing in the Fitting Room and Trying on a Bunch of Stuff is so 5 Minutes ago!

Uniqlo store in San Francisco provides you with an interesting piece of technology called a Magic Mirror. Magic Mirror works in connection with the built in touchscreens placed in the fitting room. Now shoppers can decide which color to buy, without trying every on – you can choose a color on the screen and the mirror will show you a projection as real as if you were wearing the item!

Great idea!

Who Knew Hashtags Would be a Total Game Changer?

TopShop definitely didn’t waste the hot moment of Social Media's world domination! What they did is, they placed billboards all over London which would show best selling items from their collections. What they launched in 2015 is called “hashtags” and the idea is that the digital runway looks appear in the TopShop Cloud, then show up on the billboards. Now wait for it – If a customer tweets one of the trend hashtags @TopShop, they’ll get a shopping list based on that trend. Challenge ´engage` the customer – successfully accomplished.

When it Comes to Shopping Behavior, Viewsy is here to Help Businesses Grow

The secret is in the behavior sensors that are installed in the stores. So how does it work? These sensors analyze everything happening around them. From store visitors to the time customers need to stand in the line. From how long does it take them to come back to the store, to the street view, even the weather! The purpose behind this idea was to help stores improve customer experience, generate business ideas, improve sales conversion and increase the store traffic.

This Idea Might Sound a bit Scary but it’s also very Innovative

FaceFirst Facial Recognition Technology is all about scanning and comparing shopper`s faces. It contains a database of previous shoppers and even photos of people who followed the company on social media. The idea behind the technology is to create a safer planet through the technology and to determine various real life threats.

Besides retail, this system is used in other important industries and areas of life. It provides more secure gambling space in casinos and secure games at the stadiums. It has helped to locate missing children and victims of human trafficking. FaceFirst is a valuable helper in prisons, jails, and other facilities.

SuperBrugsen’s Outstanding Customer Focus

Danish supermarket SuperBrugsen became an industry hero when they decided to crowdsource suggestions for the local products.

They started with the fact that the customers want to buy more of the local products. Besides that, they wanted these products to appeal to eco minded customers. As a result, customers can suggest which local items they want in the store. The managers will taste-test the products to ensure their quality. This idea is amazing because of several reasons. Firstly, SuperBrugsen stocks the items that will sell and that will increase their revenue. Secondly, it creates high customer satisfaction and lastly, helps to lower the food waste in Denmark.

The Pulse of the Retail Industry

Fast and intuitive – those are the right characteristic that describes the retail industry. With the innovation cycle and digitalization only growing, businesses show their new product actualization in a record time.These 7 ideas managed to engage the customers due to their creativity and agile solutions. Knowing how far the industry has gotten by 2017 we look forward to seeing what is the next big thing going to be!

Meanwhile, let us inspire you with more articles about ideas and innovation. Read about Danish hygge through innovation or Five Great Benefits of Idea Management Platform.