Digital Retail Tech Innovations from the Past Few Years

In-store technology is long games and advancing innovations can be on the rise for a very long time. Technology innovations can be used in several ways: for experiential purposes, to attract mobile users, increase convenience for shoppers, or to promote a retailer’s online presence.

Here are 5 of the innovative examples of in-store retail and retail tech from the past few years.. 

1. Apple Pay and Android Pay

These mobile apps make it easier than ever to make secure, quick payments. iPhone users can install Apple Pay from the Wallet App. Android users who have versions 4.4 and above can set up Android Pay through Google Wallet.

Apple Pay mobile payment solutions were released in 2014, announcing itself as “a new category of service that will transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay.
Of course, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay are not the only eWallets available. PayPal, Amazon Pay and Walmart Pay eWallets are just a few of the payment app services available from well-known brands. P2P payment apps like Zelle and Venmo are increasingly being used for payments as well.

Leading digital wallets use tokenization to guard against credit card data theft. Tokenization securely stores personal payment data in a specially-designed and single-purpose secure token vault. The data that is tokenized in digital wallets provides everything needed for secure payments while leaving nothing of value for criminal fraudsters.

2.  Amazon drones

After getting the go-ahead from the FAA, drones could be delivering packages to customers’ doors within 30 minutes. Amazon Prime Air is a drone delivery service currently in development by Amazon. It is expected to begin operations in select cities starting late 2019. The service uses Multirotor aircraft to autonomously fly individual packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering.

The new drone uses a combination of thermal cameras, depth cameras, and sonar to detect hazards. With the help of machine learning models, onboard computers can automatically identify obstacles and navigate around them.

The drone’s rotors are also fully covered for safety, with these covers serving as wings during sustained flight. The drone has six degrees of freedom (compared to four for a normal quadcopter), which Amazon says allows for more dynamic and nimble flight. A tilting design allows for the drone to use the same six propellers to fly forward as it does for take off and landing. Packages for delivery are then carried in the fuselage in the middle.

3. Jaguar’s Personalized Virtual Experience

Jaguar, with tech support from IBM, launched a new in-store virtual reality screen. With the help of sensory-based technology, customers can see and experience their own model of Jaguar on that screen.

This screen-borne experience integrates IBM analytics and Smarter Commerce, Intelligent Commerce Experience technology, as well as technology from the UK gaming company Eutechnyx and JLR. A consumer can select the model, make, colour and features of a car and see as well as hear through an iPad and Microsoft Kinect sensory technology. This in-store technology also allows consumers to get in the car and try interior features with a 360-degree view. Moreover, consumers can make real-time changes.

4. Nike’s Speed Shop

In 2018, Nike opened a flagship store in New York City called the ‘Nike House of Innovation 000’. As you might expect from the name, it’s pretty impressive, including digital elements to create an impressive and highly convenient experience for shoppers.

Alongside customisation studios and instant checkout points, a stand-out feature of the six-floor studio is the ‘Speed Shop’. This allows customers to reserve shoes online to try on in-store. More specifically, customers can arrive (through a dedicated entrance) to find a locker with their name on, which can then be unlocked via their smart phone.

Mobile check-out is also available, meaning customers do not even need to speak to anyone (let alone stand in a queue) if they want to buy the shoes in question. The ultimate in convenience shopping.

4. Ikea’s augmented reality interior designer

With the plethora of furniture choices at Ikea stores, the global chain wanted to make customer’s choices less overwhelming with an augmented reality app that works like a virtual interior designer and allows customers to visualise 3D versions of its furniture in their homes.

Using the app, consumers can virtual plan a couch, table of chair in a room. They can flip through the print catalogue and when they come across a ‘plus’ symbol on the page, hover their phone or tablet until a screen pops up to scan the images on the page. When they find a piece they want to test out, they place the physical catalogue in the spot at home, and their device camera uses the book to gauge the correct scale for the products shown on the screen.

5.Vivid’s 3D facial recognition installation

Sydney’s creative light festival Vivid Sydney decided to engage participants on a whole new interactive level with Intel’s new 3D facial recognition technology.

The ‘Eyes on the Harbour’ installation at Darling Harbour uses Intel’s RealSense technology to capture the faces of visitors in 3D and project them onto a 25-metre high water screen. Participants also receive a link to a short movie of their face projected onto the water theatre which can be shared on social media as a memento of their Intel experience at Vivid Sydney.

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