It seems the world of retail tech never sleeps – this has been a very busy month indeed! We’ve sifted through the wealth of news to bring you our favourite updates, which include free WiFi, a ‘magical’ service that can get you anything you want (we promise it’s not shady) and mannequins that come to life at the touch of a button.
1) Shopping Magic
Buy anything (anything legal, that is), at anytime – that is the main goal of new startup, Magic; a text message based concierge service that does all the heavy lifting for you. Available 24/7 users simply text through their request and someone will reply with follow up questions like where and when. We predict this service will be a huge hit, particularly for last minute (or forgotten) gift buying: http://goo.gl/8bFcDY
2) Stripe x Bitcoin
Big news for Bitcoin! Payment processor Stripe now let’s all of its supported businesses accept Bitcoin payments. Stripe will take a 0.5% commission on all Bitcoin transactions. Check it out: http://goo.gl/txzTrX
3) The mannequins, they’re alive!
No, this is not the plot line of a B-grade movie, this is the latest implementation of beacon technology. Ted Baker has installed beacons in its Westfield White City mannequins. Upon downloading a free mobile app from Iconeme, customers will be able to access a mobile communication channel that will allow them to access links of the items on display, create lookbooks, find where the items are located in-store and more. This is very cool stuff: http://goo.gl/0jm7Xo
4) In-store WiFi
In news that will make all backpackers and travellers happy, Schuh is now offering free in-store Purple WiFi.The footwear retailer will use WiFi to automatically direct customers to www.findmysize.co.uk, a service that allows people to find the products they want in real time. Who can say no to that? http://goo.gl/n0V5xG
5) Mobile POS to skyrocket
A survey conducted by retail consulting firm, Boston Retail Partners, indicates that the use of mobile POS amongst retailers will skyrocket by 300% in the next two years. This will make the checkout process much more efficient, which may be a negative for your bank balance: http://goo.gl/csxLtm