One of the first retailers to embrace this is IKEA. Launched in the autumn of 2017, Ikea’s ‘Place’ App uses Augmented Reality to allow users to place items from the Ikea range, directly into their own homes. Already proving a success with customers, the app connects to social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Instagram and ultimately allows customers to place orders.
Technology will unquestionably be one of the key retail developments in 2018, with digitisation continuing to infiltrate our shopping habits and experiences, both online and in-store.
Many retailers are now embracing ‘Smart’ technologies to improve the in-store experience in areas such as lighting and sales transactions.
With developments in VR and AR, retailers are now implementing this as another tool to draw in and retain customers.
Apple’s new ARKit technology allows AR technology to be integrated into apps’ opening up a wide scope of new possibilities for retailers both in store and online, as we enter 2018.
Customers will continue to prioritise convenience, driving retailers to invest in and improve logistics. With so many choices now offered to customers when shopping online and retailers increasingly providing same day/ instant delivery options, consumers can choose when and where they want their products. This will inevitably impact which retailers’ customers choose to make their final transactions with. Therefore, it will be even more important that retailers are able to compete not just price but the overall experience from first click through to delivery.
With many retailers moving towards smaller store footprints, collaborative retailing is likely to continue with retailers joining forces with supporting brands or sub-letting floor space to increase the interest and services provided to customers under one roof. Recent examples of this are Next, who have allocated floor space to Starbucks/ Costa and Paperchase in many new stores and Top Shop with in house Nail bars and Hair salons, all of which will help to bring in increased footfall numbers.