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During the Integrated Marketing Week talk 'Marketing 3.0' Paul Price, Creative Realities’ CEO, discussed the near and new technologies making big differences to the consumer experience with brands, particularly in retail.

Since Price has worked with the likes of Macy’s, Novartis, L’Oreal and Wells Fargo, tune into what he has to say now about the store of the future tomorrow!

Creative Realities is a creative technology company specializing in designing and deploying digital experiences to bridge the new, more fluid world of virtual and physical marketing.

After visiting Macy's store in Herald Square, where innovative digital experience is being blended into brick-and-mortar shopping, I was excited to hear from Price who worked with Macy's and he didn't disappoint.

What is the store of the future? 

According to Price, we are living in the most disruptive period of doing business since the industrial revolution. This is largely on account of technology getting better, cheaper and faster.

The three main features of the store of the future:

  • Open.
  • Aware.
  • Simple.

Where does the online experience fit in? A fragmented, multichannel web is social's deep dark secret, according to Price.

Don't think of social as a medium. Think of it as a utility in consumers minds.

Convert thinking from 'demographic' to 'technographic'

Price:

What are the digital behaviors of your consumer that characterize their relationship with your brand? Start defining their technography; their digital profile and the way they are using digital platforms to make decisions about your brand and competitors.

For client Adidas, Creative Realities installed life-sized interactive touch displays to encourage browsing, customizing looks and social sharing within Footaction retails stores.

Sales associates were also armed with simple tablet devices that help engage guests one-on-one.

Five digital trends that will impact the future of retail

  • The Internet of things: this is not just about machines talking to machines. More objects are becoming embedded with sensors and gaining the ability to communicate which will effect inventory and personalization in-store greatly.

    The resulting information networks promise to create new business models, improve business processes, and reduce costs and risks for retail. Price referenced the Pebble Smart Watch which is the first consumer product to market which was funded through the crowd-sourced Kickstarter model.

  • Social recommendation: these help all of us decide what we want to buy. Consumers trust themselves and their peers, making "push" marketing tactics increasingly less effective.
  • Virtual currency and the mobile wallet: with Square and Google Wallet gaining traction there aren't many remaining reasons to keep the old cow hide. Additionally, according to Price, wearable computing like smartwatches and Google Glass will all have payment options like these built in.
  • 3D printing: will change the way retailers think about inventory. 3D printed pharma is on the way. Will H&M give you a 3D printer to make disposable fashion even more disposable?
  • Interactive vending experiences: for the Beijing Olympics, Samsung deployed 20 interactive vending machines featuring Samsung 46-inch touchscreen. The networked units send customer's selection information for to a central HQ and can also distribute tickets or provide wayfinding and venue information.

What can retailers and marketers do right now to prepare?

  • Move tech into the marketing department. It's marketing that needs to manage how digital plays in the organization, or at least me at the table for discussion.
  • Stop worrying on demography and do worry about technography.
  • Think communities rather than segmentation.
  • When it comes to drawing market lines, don't get hung up on political or physical.
  • Stop thinking about communications, and start thinging about experiences and let the consumer be your producer.
Ryan Sommer

Published 17 June, 2013 by Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is web veteran and recovering expat who contributes to Econsultancy on startups, content marketing and new media. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your circles on Google+

91 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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Wojtek, Wroclaw

The real question is how mobile commerce will influence online shopping. But simple and useful content and site architecture always will survive.

over 3 years ago

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Crystal

Really happy to see mention of thinking of consumer's "experience." With personalization so important in the future of marketing, taking the opportunity to personalize the said user experience is critical. We just started using Evergage.com on our blog/website to do just that and are already noticing much greater conversion from pushing personalized content / messaging to website visitors.

over 3 years ago

Ayesha Latto

Ayesha Latto, International Business Development Manager at TescoEnterprise

I like this article, but can someone please expand on the 3D printing comment, I'm not sure I understand the capability enough...

Will H&M give you a 3D printer to make disposable fashion even more disposable?

over 3 years ago

Pete Williams

Pete Williams, Managing Director at Gibe Digital

I can see more self-service screens entering the retail space where customer service isn't a priority at the POS.

Hopefully it will free customer service personnel to get on the floor and actually help customers.

The question is as a retailer do you want to drive consumers to your bricks and mortar or replace it as much as possible with Digital?

over 3 years ago

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Paul Price

Ayesha - to your question concerning 3D printing - I speculated in my presentation the rapid advance of this (and other) technology enables a future possibility of in-home 3D printers "printing" on-demand inventory such as clothing.
Retail brands extending their distribution to in-home via 3D printing units they supply. Fashion is one very eligible candidate given the technology continues to advance at its present rate and breadth of application.

Hope this answers your question
Paul Price
paul.price@cri.com
@paulnprice

over 3 years ago

Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer, Freelance Consultant

Cheers for jumping in with the clarification Paul. Sorry I was late to the party Ayesha!

To further add to the relevance of Paul's speculation on 3-D printing, it's interesting to note that at least one of the vendors showing at IMW13 brought a 3-d printer to custom make conference schwag on the fly.

This not only speaks to the lowering cost for entry, but also served as a really memorable way to interact with conference goers for the brand.

Rapp Agency predicted it would be less about the souvenir itself, and more about the "customer journey" -- so to speak -- when it came to deciding what we all wanted to print.

Amazing times!

over 3 years ago

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tunde cockshott

I totally agree about the need to start with experiences rather than communications. For a good UK example take a look at the flagship Burberry store in London. Here technology enhances and amplifies the experience. It goes with the flow, and does not intrude.

However I think while Maplin has just announced it will sell 3D printers for £699, in reality 3D printers will only be used for prototypes and very small production runs. They may appear in stores but as a gimmick rather than an in store production line.

One area which is missed is ambient and context aware marketing. We now know so much about the user and their past and current activities, likes, social graph, location, plus the wealth of ambient data. Using smart heuristically models of users and what they may need, want, use, in given contexts opens the door to proactive highly personalised instore marketing. Delivered via smartphone, or connected device, or even through screens connected to sensors within the store.

over 3 years ago

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