2013 was a fantastic year for retail marketing. Technology and creativity was pushed to the limit allowing retailers to be innovative with marketing. We can't wait to see what 2014 will bring in retail technology but we can give you a few predictions;
Shopping experiences will become personal. "2014 will be the year in which you walk into a store and it ‘knows you' and customizes your visit," Gownder predicts. Retailers are already beginning to experience with technology which captures the attention of customers as they shop. Apple's iBeacon can send offers to smartphones as you shop in store. Tesco have also introduced their facial recognition technology which has receive mixed reactions This will highly beneficial to concessions where proximity to products is the key to marketing.
3D Printing will change customer expectations. Developments in 3D printing were arguably the most exciting technology news of 2013. Brands started to explore how they could use the new printers as part of their marketing. Converse allowed customers to design and print their own sneakers within an hour while Soundcloud enabled users to create their own unique iphone cases from their favourite songs. At home printers are not expected to be widely used for 4-5 years at the moment which gives brands and retailers a window to provide unique products and offers. There is also the store fittings and fixtures implementation side of 3d printing which has yet to be fully explored. We predict that will be a huge consumer demand for in store printing and retailers will scramble to meet this need.
Augmented Reality will be common place. In 2013, brands and retailers started to take the possibilities of augmented reality seriously. Topshop used the Kinect for their augmented reality changing rooms, inspiring customers to play with the technology and view more of their fashion ranges. As smartphones become more powerful in 2014, retailers and brands will begin to design their shop floors based around their augmented reality.
3D Projection will inspire customers. As you may have seen from our Christmas window display blog, 3d projection elements were used in Macy's display which encouraged shoppers to interact with snow. ‘Hologram' technology is now reaching ‘Star Wars levels' and retailers are the first to start using it in a commercial capacity to display products. How the technology will be used is completely up for debate as the commercial use of 3d projectors has only been explored in the last few months but
We are excited to see these new technologies be integrated into our retail design solutions and looking forward to all the other technology surprises that 2014 bring. Happy New Year!v