target gears up for the store of the future
US retailer, Target has recently trialed a pop-up shop in New York called ‘Wonderland’ that did away with traditional retail basics such as, shelves, baskets, till points, oh and products themselves! Instead, shoppers were invited to actually play with the toys on display in fun demo areas and if they wanted more info or they wanted to buy something they just scanned a RFID key. The experience was part of Target’s research into the future of retailing and enabled them to see how shoppers navigated the store and interacted with produce when unencumbered with trollies and baskets.
The way we have shopped hasn’t really changed very much in the last hundred years. There have been technical innovations and cultural shifts but our towns are still full of shops stocking thousands of products and retailers still operate huge distribution networks, moving goods about en mass.
Is all this finally about to change? As we teeter on the edge of the technological revolution that is ‘The Internet of Things’, change will be so abundant that brands and retailers will be scrabbling to keep up. In April Tesco announced that they’ve signed up to the task managing service, ‘If This Then That’ to allow consumers to shop in a totally different and empowering way. Consumers will be able to set up automatic triggers to purchase based on entirely personal criteria and using a range of compatible devices such as a fitness tracker or a smart watch.
Tesco 'if this then that'
Soon consumers will be armed with ‘smart’ wearables that can communicate with products and services around them, routinely tapping into other applications to access relevant information about us and our consumption patterns, trying to predict what we need before we even need it. RFID is just the tip of the iceberg - we are tracking tech developments to understand the possible impact this will have in the future.