6 Ways That Retail Stores Can Use Digital Tech


Brick-and-mortar shops nowadays have to consider the importance of the digital dimension when it comes to attracting and keeping customers. Here are some examples of major retailers who have promoted themselves successfully using digital technology.

1. Automation at Hema

At the Hema shop opened in China in 2016, the advantages of online and offline shopping were seamlessly melded. Detailed information about goods was made available to customers scanning codes, and payment could be conducted via an app. Meanwhile, customers organised seats at table using the app, with robots preparing and serving meals.

2. 7Fresh’s Shopping Experience

Elsewhere in China, JD.com opened a high-tech supermarket – 7Fresh – in 2018. Smart hands-free shopping carts follow customers round the store, so it is easy to look after children and have your hands free. In addition, ‘magic mirrors’ display information about items when they are picked up.

3. Glasses Software at Specsavers

Choosing glasses can take a while. Specsavers created a new in-store service in 2018 to simplify the process. Frame Styler – available on in-store tablets – is a software tool that creates a 3D version of the shopper’s face. It then selects suitable frames and lets the person try them on in 3D.

4. Nike’s Speed Shop

Nike’s flagship store in New York launched the ‘Nike House of Innovation 000’ in 2018. Instant checkout points sit next to customisation studios, while the ‘Speed Shop’ allows customers to reserve trainers online for trying on in-store. Mobile check-out makes for a convenient purchase.

Stores use a variety of in-store media to attract shoppers. Many choose effective in-store media from Mood Media.

Some digital retail trends for 2019 are found here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/12/16/top-4-digital-transformation-trends-in-retail-for-2019/.

5. Amazon Go’s Checkout

Amazon’s Go stores employ a mix of sensor fusion technology and computer vision when automating the check-out process. Customers can therefore enter a shop, collect items and leave without having to queue, while payment is made via Amazon Go’s app.

6. Digital Price Tag Technology at Kroger

Kroger, the US grocery chain, made digital price tag technology available in 2018. The ‘Kroger Edge’ technology digitally displays pricing and nutritional information. Environmental concerns are addressed by the store: the tech operates on renewable energy, and illuminated pricing sees overhead lighting turned down, reducing energy costs.

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