If there’s one thing apparent about spring, it’s the unpredictable weather. But unlike the forecast, we’ve remained constant in our pursuit of the week’s latest retail tech updates from around the globe. Rain, hail or shine – we’ve got you covered. Read on!
1. Mobile payments snatch one-third of payments says Facebook
It appears this year’s holiday season will see stockings stuffed using smartphones! According to Facebook, and their latest data analysing the company’s ads, 30% of purchases were done from mobile devices. Not surprisingly, the use of mobile shopping has increased by 35% recently, suggesting that customers are increasingly becoming comfortable with the use of these technologies. What we found most interesting here is that while it’s becoming more common, many people are still using it for research only, preferring to complete purchases in-store. Karin Tompone, Global Marketing Officer for Marriot International also highlights the use of mobiles as research tools, claiming “search is still very important”, and something we think is essential for a fully satisfied customer!
2. Big Data, big plans: the digitisation of Westfield’s malls
Online purchases, product reviews and social networking are all factors contributing to a consumer’s digital footprint, not to mention a whole lot of data. Now, the Westfield Corporation has formed a team filled with expertise, including Raghav Lal, the man previously known as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Analytics at Visa. They’re in charge of utilising this data and conceptualising, evolving and executing strategies which pair these analytics with modern technologies to create “personalized, intuitive and rich retail experiences,” according to The Business Journals. This milestone for the company – converging the physical shopping experience with the online, digital world – is one we see as a progressive and ultimate goal for future retailers. Well done, Westfield!
3. Clothes that constitute a credit card: wearable technology takes new heights
Update alert! We’re officially in an age where your clothes are now paying for your clothes. Let us elaborate. In conjunction with fashion designer, Adam Selman, Mastercard is attempting to prove that any device can be a commerce device. The company is designing clothing and “yet to be imagined categories” that double as mobile payment devises. Other partners involved with the program include General Motors wearable technology maker Nymi, jewellery company Ringly, and Bluetooth locator TrackR to all create tools in which people can pay with what’s most accessible to them. It will be interesting to see how they tackle security!
4. Visualisation station: Google’s new tool for retailers
For any retailer, their toolbox must contain one crucial asset: an understanding of their customers and their shopping habits. Google has planned to assist and enhance retailers’ ability to do this through the invention of ‘Shopping Insights’: a visualisation tool. By highlighting customer searches and popular products on the website’s shopping section, it gathers trends that can be viewed over time and in heat maps dependent upon locations and density of usage. Not only will this implement better inventory techniques for certain stores, it will efficiently cater to a range of desires and wants from the diverse customer. Fun fact #1: The technology has already discovered that Star Wars costumes are three times more popular than Minion costumes. I guess we can expect a character-filled premiere!
5. iBag: Equip yourself with ultimate efficiency
There’s now a fashionable, tech-savvy smart bag called ‘HiSmart’. Kindly brought to us by Lepow, the bag is not the first of its kind to be released, but it’s certainly the most advanced of them all. Forgot where you parked? The HiSmart bag pins locations to help you remember. Lost your iPhone? The bag includes a ‘Find my iPhone’ feature. Incoming call? Answer it directly off your shoulder, hands-free. Feeling bored? Play endless music streamed from your phone or record your ideas on the wireless remote. You’ll never have to sacrifice fashion for efficiency again; the bag is made from leather and canvas, and is re-adjustable to various positions, including backpack and tote. Oh, and did we mention it’s waterproof?! We’re sold.