There is no getting away from the fact that technology is slowly taking over just about everything we do. From the way we communicate with our friends to the way we handle our banking, most things can now be done digitally. As bricks and mortar stores seek to compete with the dominance of online shopping, more and more businesses are turning to technology to improve the customers’ shopping experience.
We have all become familiar with the introduction of technology into our shopping experience – scan and pack services in supermarkets is just one example. However, many retailers are seeking to make use of their shop fronts as a way of either enticing consumers into their store or remove the need to do so all together.
Enticing Consumers in Store with Beacon Promotions
Our pockets and bags are filled with the latest mobile phones and tablets, many of which will be loaded with apps from our favourite retailers. To make use of this, several large retailers have introduced ‘beacons’ to their shop fronts in an attempt to grab the attention of passing consumers.
Beacons are small, Bluetooth-enabled devices which can be attached to the wall of a store. Once within range, the device send Bluetooth signals to the device of a passing consumer, presenting them with coupons, special offers and rewards to entice them to come in store.
With beacon technology providing additional benefits to the consumer once in store, such as navigating them to the right area, PayPal’s Chief Executive predicts it won’t not be long before we are using mobile devices throughout our shopping experience:
“The difference between online commerce and offline commerce is blurring and disappearing. It’s not a far cry to see them use it all the way and check out through that mobile device”
Simplifying a User’s Experience with Digital Shop Fronts
For many charities, it is our donations which help to ensure that the services they provide are able to continue. Last year, Cancer Research UK sought to make the process of making a donation as simple as possible with the introduction of ‘contactless enabled shop-fronts’ at four of their branches.
By simply tapping a contactless debit or credit card against the window of one of the branches, people could make a £2 donation to the charity at any time of the day. Upon making a donation, an interactive screen would show them how their money will be spent.
Clear Channel helped Cancer Research UK develop the system and Neil Chapman from the company explained: “This contactless window display is an important step towards offering brands a contactless payment solution away from their point of sale and works brilliantly with the ‘tap donation.'”
With British people now spending an average of £1,175 per person through smart phones, it is clear that an increase in the integration of technology into our high street shopping habits is only likely to continue – especially if retailers wish to compete with the internet.