The long weekend is but a distant memory, and we’ve hit the ground running this week (not just to burn off our chocolates, we swear). Our ‘transact’ feature has finally hit the App Store and Google Play (WOO!) and in line with this, we’ve been inspired to bring you the latest bits of news from the fast-paced world of retail tech. Brace yourself people, it’s going to be a big one!
1) Muji’s ‘forever sale’
Japanese retailer Muji has implemented a permanent, that’s right PERMANANT, price cut on over 650 items across all of their US locations. They’ve also just announced they’re opening their first Sydney flagship store on May 14th. For those unfamiliar with the brand, think of them as a super zen IKEA. They offer affordable minimalistic homewares, stationary and apparel: http://goo.gl/BqhRXJ
2) Amazon to digitise the home
Amazon has launched individually branded Dash Buttons in an effort to simplify grocery shopping. These buttons will help customers order smaller, everyday items, such as paper towels and laundry detergent thus eliminating trips to the shops. To place an order all users have to do is either scan the object, speak its name into the microphone or click a button. Seems too easy to be true: http://goo.gl/ZB7iSS
3) PayStand App
Payment service provider PayStand has released their mobile app in the App Store. This release makes PayStand the first all-in-one mobile point of sale solution to accept credit card, check and Bitcoin payments. On top of this, they are significantly cheaper for retailers when compared to other POS systems – read more here: http://goo.gl/Xw4Ya7
4) Apple Watch purchase model
Apple has revealed how in-store orders of the Apple Watch will work in the retail environment. Purchases will require an online reservation and 15 min appointment time, where the watch’s functionality will be explained to the user. This high level of customer service will be crucial for its adoption – especially in the early days: http://goo.gl/67IeaM
5) Walking talking posters
When this story first reached our ears we confess our Harry Potter obsessed brains jumped into overdrive. The use of moving posters for advertising has already taken off in London and research suggests that people actually expect these posters to identify them personally and sell to them. This research also found that 43% of adults were happy to download retail vouchers from a digital poster site. There’s huge potential here to integrate with other technologies, for example ‘click and buy’ buttons and personalised avatars would revolutionise how we’re sold to, turning advertising into a tangible service: http://goo.gl/2jfelP
6) Free WiFi has mutual benefits
Research conducted by IHL Group, EarthLink Holdings Corp., and AirTight Networks suggests that offering free in-store WiFi actually increases sales and customer loyalty. Now that’s a symbiotic relationship we can get behind! http://goo.gl/A8FwsZ
If you know of any other retail news that we’ve missed, please share in the comments below.