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Future of retail

Discover the Future of Retail in the Store of the Future

There is an idea that the store of the future will be completely automated, with no staff, where customers are detected upon entry so they can take what they need and leave without having to go through a pay point. But the store of the future is much more than that.

Digitization in the sector is bringing us closer to the future of retail since new technology in stores lets retailers know more about customers so they can offer products in a personalized way. The combination of artificial intelligence, interactive screens, camaras and sensors inside stores performs this anonymous behavioral analysis. It also helps to understand the customer journey to know the precise moment to offer customers certain information. Retailers shouldn’t forget that people who keep visiting stores are looking for human interaction and a good shopping experience. They are responsible for hiring a staff that provides flawless customer service to make the shopping experience unforgettable.

In this post we will go through the journey in a retail store of the future to understand how it works and the benefits it offers to customers.

Store entrance

The first thing we see is the store window. It is a store window with dynamic digital signage with integrated cameras that can detect our gender and age range, as well as our attention time and reactions to the messages displayed. Using this data, it segments customer profiles and displays more effective campaigns.

Store windows welcome customers to the store, and new technology applied to retail allows store windows to show personalized advertising. There is nothing like the feeling that a store window is speaking directly to you and inviting you inside while providing interesting information.

In-store journey

One of the most impressive things in the retail store of the future is the design and layout. Thanks to an intensive store analysis, visitors are distributed evenly instead of being concentrated in certain areas. The space is designed to take the maximum advantage of every zone and optimize the customer journey.

Inside the store, we want to see which products are available and get more information on the products that interest us. People want to interact with products, so retail of the future uses smart shelves that are activated with Lift and Learn technology. By simply lifting a product, we can see all the information we need on the nearest digital signage screen. If we lift more than one product, the screens will show a comparison of the two items so that we can make a more informed decision.

Digital signage in retail stores of the future is the most useful platform for showing information in an attractive and comfortable way. Screens can also offer us products that go well with the ones we are looking at, or display daily recommendations chosen based on an analysis of external information such as meteorological or traffic conditions. Intelligent digital signage learns automatically from us and shows us personalized product recommendations of what we might find interesting or is available at that time.

Digital signage also talks! Digital signage totems contain a virtual assistant bot that talks to us and acts according to our needs by providing information or showing us where to find what we are looking for, always in a fun and entertaining way.

Digital screens can display QR codes that we can scan with our smartphones to provide more information about a product or service. This improves our engagement with the brand because we spend more time interacting. It makes us feel like we are special and that we can be helped at any moment.

During the store journey, we are surprised by how well the staff works. They are always helping customers, but not intrusively. They know when to go up to customers and provide additional help.

Thanks to personalized communication from the brand, we go to the register to pay for the perfect products for us. We have what we were looking for, as well as other items we were recommended during the journey.

Payment and exit

In line to pay, we find ourselves surrounded by digital signage screens that lower our perceived wait time by entertaining us with personalized interactive content. These screens offer us some final products that could interest us, a brief satisfaction survey to see if our customer journey was perfect and if we got all of the information we needed, and even the option to pay through the signage.

When we leave the store, the store’s app on our smartphone will contain new offers and coupons for products we interacted with in the store thanks to beacon technology. There will also be personalized content on specific social networking sites that we use the most.

The shopping experience in the store of the future is unique. You feel empowered and like the store knows who you are, while the staff provides optimized service. The customer is the protagonist of the experience and is the most important element of the shopping experience. Maybe we should stop calling it the store of the future, because that kind of store is already here.

Guiomar Fernandez