The in-store shopping experience is continuing to evolve at a high rate. We’ve been following the trend of mobile retail apps and their function to attract customers and serve them better both in-store and online and even build loyalty.
This evolution is a re-imagination of what it means to walk into a store and make a purchase. It has the possibility to create a truly interactive and seamless shopping experience for both customers and retailers alike.
Recently, two major brands have delved into this space and are exploring it in two very different yet dynamic ways in order to engage and fully immerse the customer while shopping in-store.
The first is MasterCard who has developed a pay-by-selfie capability that will roll out the middle of next year in the US and globally the following year. This exciting opportunity will allow customers to take an initial selfie using their smartphone to verify their identity. Every time they make a purchase using their MasterCard they would snap another selfie to confirm their identity.
Pay-by-selfie will provide another level of security for customers. This increased focus on security is increasingly important given the challenges with adopting EMV, given that some companies are behind on issuing micro-chip credit cards, or adopting the card readers despite the October 1st deadline having passed.
Focused on making the in-store shopping experience interactive, rather than payments, Kroger has designed and developed a ‘smart shelf’ technology that it is currently testing in one of its stores. At the moment, the technology, created in-house is serving to digitally display prices of items on store shelves. This technology has reduced the time and money it normally took Kroger store associates to re-label items and now permits them to use that extra time to serve customers better.
According to Brett Bonner, the vice president of Kroger’s research and development:
It has the potential to reinvent brick-and-mortar retailing. It brings the info-richness of the Internet to the sight, sounds, smells and touching of in-store shopping.
In the future, Kroger expects to expand the functionality and capability of the ‘smart shelf’ technology to include nutrition information for products and provide dedicated ad space on shelves.
These latest in-store shopping innovations are just the beginning of an exciting and technology fueled transformation.
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