Shopping is no more about the product but the brand experience that retailers are offering. They are discovering new ways to enrich their customer’s experience.

We have already been made to imagine the futuristic shopping experience full of virtual shopping carts, robots who replace the support staff, self-checkout and smart shelves. While augmented reality, robots and Amazon Go store is already making waves, smart shopping and future stores might take years to be seen on high streets and junctions.

But it’s time to get hands on with self-service checkouts and digital catalogues on those fancy kiosks. Augmented reality will allow customers to get a real-life view and fulfil their buying aspirations remotely. So if its purchasing a vase for a centre table or checking if a sofa fits perfectly with the décor, AR has transformed the way one shops. The recent example of this is IKEA that has deployed AR to offer their customers a user-rich shopping experience.

Burberry Group has also experimented with augmented reality on its smartphone app. Recently, Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger introduced chatbots powered by artificial intelligence. Users could explore both collections via all manner of additional content, including a behind-the-scenes look at life with Gigi Hadid.

Future Stores
Future Stores

The new smart stores will come with a plethora of IOT devices such as location cameras, smart sensors, and offer customers a shopping experience that is bespoke and customized to suit individual needs. Shoppers can now try out clothes at home, a completely new experience where its not just online but an attempt to invent the physical shopping experience. The trackers and in-store location-based services will offer retailers a complete virtual picture of the shopper.

Another feather in the cap is the smart basket or virtual shopping cart. So now one need not stand in long queues and await scanning and packing of items at supermarkets. Instead, using the smart basket will enable customers to carry out a self-checkout. Shoppers scan their items as they shop and then put them in smart basket.

Smart shelves blends physical and digital shopping experiences seamlessly. Now both consumers and retailers can benefit from it. Electronic smart shelves offer benefits for both consumers and retailers alike – they can display real-time prices, discounts, and product information, but also keep track of inventory and stock for store workers. Digital price tags, on-demand product information, and even video advertisements make the digital shelf another example of blending physical and digital shopping experiences to create useful and profitable results for shoppers and sellers alike.

Foodie, traveler, thinker. Its either all or nothing. Loves carbs and sweets 🙂

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