5 Updates in the Retail Space

With our chat feature going live on Monday, we wanted to touch base and see what’s going on in the world of retail technology – and let us tell you, we haven’t been disappointed! While Arnie won’t be bursting into your living rooms anytime soon, we’re living in science fiction times that’s for sure! Don’t believe us? Wearable tech is making big waves and Alibaba is developing a payment process that is dependant on facial recognition software. The future is knocking, the question remains whether you’ll be brave enough to answer.

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1) Wearable tech 

Off the back of Apple’s Smart Watch announcement last week, it’s definitely wearable tech’s moment in the sun. At this week’s South by South West Interactive Conference much talk was dedicated to the emerging trend. Seeing the need for something beautiful in this tech heavy area, Swarovski is releasing their own fitness device, fittingly called ‘Shine’. On top of this 3-D printers and smart fabrics are changing the production process and extending what we associate with wearable tech. For example, biodesign is also covered; Natsai Audrey Chieza, founder of Studio Natsai Audrey revealed that they’re working with bacteria that produce pigment to dye textiles. Interesting stuff indeed: http://goo.gl/DJkvFR

2) The future of purchases

The Atlantic has released an article exploring the evolving nature of payment systems. It all comes down to convenience; carrying, counting and dispensing cash is an encumbrance that most of us don’t have time for anymore – and keeping track of credit cards is a downright pain. A number of recent technological advancements have made a cashless society a distant, yet distinct possibility. Phone based systems, RFID tags as well as private AND digital currencies are all working to streamline the checkout process. We ourselves recognised the need for an efficient purchase model early on, and are currently in the midst of building a ‘tap and buy’ feature to add to Booodl. The way you buy will change to meet your needs. The article is a great read, it’s worth taking a look: http://goo.gl/FnDSRy

3) Selfie checkout 

Thanks to Alibaba the phrase ‘checkout my selfie’, will take on a whole new meaning. At the CeBit conference on Sunday Jack Ma, the company’s founder, revealed that they’re working on integrating facial recognition software into their mobile payment process. When you’re ready to make a purchase simply click ‘buy’ and a face scanner will pop up. While there are still a lot of questions around this, it’s another prime example of reducing friction when shopping: http://goo.gl/SGfwtf

4) Google goes bricks-and-mortar 

Last week Google opened up its very first physical store in London, which is half shop half playroom. While customers can try and buy products such as Chromebooks and Android phones, the space also has a range of cool interactive elements – including a giant Pacman game, an interactive Google Earth installation as well as a ‘doodle wall’. We need one in Sydney, asap: http://goo.gl/TLl3Ah

5) Facebook finds The Find 

Facebook has purchased TheFind –  a shopping search engine that aggregates products from all online stores, so users can find what they want. By unifying search and e-commerce, Facebook hopes to boost their digital advertising, stating “together, we believe we can make the Facebook ads experience even more relevant and better for consumers.” Read more here: http://goo.gl/WKqSOH

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