Is Your Department Store Ready For The Future?
The department store made history by changing the way that people shop. The idea that someone could go to one store, select from various departments, and pay in one spot is familiar now but changes continue to be on retail’s horizon.
In a recent Washington Post article, Abha Bhattarai discusses 5 ways the future of retail is already here. Since new technology is changing our lives, it is interesting to see how much is already being discussed for use in retail applications:
- Digital displays instead of price stickers make it possible to change thousands of prices in minutes. The brick-and-mortar store could see prices that fluctuate based on supply or demand in the same way that online shoppers see prices change now.
- Digital mirrors make it possible for shoppers to try on new outfits, makeup, or glasses and get feedback from friends by sending them images and video from the mirror. Imagine being able to compare options side by side instead of repeatedly changing clothes in a dressing room.
- Robotic shopping carts can import a shopping list, guide you to the items, and let you check out with a credit card. Then it will follow you to your car for unloading and take itself back to the docking station. Another company is working on a cart-less approach where you can add items to a virtual cart on your phone as you walk through the store, then either collect them at the door or have them mailed to your home. This would drastically change a store footprint since products stay on the shelf or display.
- Technology is being used to find you better things to wear. Companies are already using algorithms to assess the data points they collect on customers and recommend products they might like. A purchase can come with recommendations for a complete outfit customized to previous preferences. 3D scanners can create virtual models of feet and suggest shoes that will fit perfectly. Eventually, custom shoes could be created on a 3D printer if all goes as planned.
- Robots are being used to restock shelves, checking for misplaced items and empty shelf space. Low inventory on the shelf triggers an alert to human employees to order more. But these robots are friendly — they can answer questions and guide you to stock locations.
Can you imagine any of these things in your department store? Maybe not, but ChainDrive Department Store does have the software you are looking for right now.