Spring has finally sprung and change is in the air. We’ve spruced up the office while working on another exciting app update, which we can’t wait to reveal! We’ve also been monitoring the wavelengths, keeping our feelers tuned to pick up noteworthy retail technology news. Today, we bring you what we’ve found.
1) 3D body scanners: solution to returns?
While convenience is touted as the core of online shopping, returning items still remains a pain in the proverbial. But don’t fret, 3D body scanners are being heralded as the solution to this. Retailers are pairing with scanning companies to help curb the cost of returns (an estimated $8.4 billion each year!). Customers can either enter their measurements online, or get scanned in a scanning booth to try items on digitally. This tech is already being rolled out; you can find booths at select Bloomingdale’s locations across the US and Selfridges in London! http://goo.gl/Hjv0d9
2) The future of shopping is local
We’re pretty stoked with Retail Dive’s feature on local shopping as it supports everything we’ve been doing at Booodl. It highlights that despite the popularity of online shopping, people still prefer to make purchases in person. However people are using a range of fragmented mobile services to look up nearby local stores. To support shoppers, and to make this process as easy as possible, the market is in need of a store directory that connects consumers with their local shops. That’s where Booodl comes in: http://goo.gl/0NNV8J
3) Neiman Marcus upgrades search function
Neiman Marcus has made a major upgrade to their search app. Snap.Find.Shop uses visual recognition (powered by the product-discovery platform Slyce) to make it easier for shoppers to search for an item they’re after. And they’ve now expanded the service to all of their luxury departments! Have you ever been able to picture a product, but completely fail to describe it? No drama. The technology takes up to 25 different characteristics into account when finding an item. Mark Elfenbein, CEO of Slyce, calls it “Shazam for stuff”: http://goo.gl/Gt1KC1
4) Augmented reality garments are a thing
We promise this not a modern interpretation of the Emperor’s New Clothes. This headline is 100% true and the latest example of clothing that blurs the line between the digital and physical. At the opening night of “Blastosphere: Digital Art Becomes 3D Fashion,” guests were given the chance to try on clothes encoded with augmented reality. Each piece incorporated a moving animation, which was viewed through AR. It’s absolutely out of this world: http://goo.gl/R5x56M
5) Solving in-store navigation
Pymnts have written an excellent feature regarding the implementation of beacons. A fierce debate surrounds this technology, while it is inarguable that it will enhance the shopping experience by bringing greater personalization and communication; people are hesitant to embrace it due to potential abuse of information. However tech firm, Estimote, have managed to overcome this hesitation; converting 50,000 retailers to their cause. They point out that the retail use cases are endless. It’s such an interesting read: http://goo.gl/BVwmXl