It’s been 10 years since a man in a black turtle neck, jeans and sneakers showcased what was then an odd-looking, white, mobile device — the first iPhone. Since then, the mobile landscape has changed more than consumers and retailers could have ever imagined. The question today is whether the most advanced iPhones to date, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, will have the same impact as the one we were introduced to a decade ago. In short, we contend yes. The next disruption has arrived, and this is how we anticipate it will transform retailing.
AR for Personalization
Regardless of which mobile phone a consumer has, we know their pocket-sized digital companion is already influencing their shopping every step of the way. In Daymon’s recent study, From Shopper to Advocate: The Power of Participation, data showed that the most engaged consumers are actually deciding where to shop and what to buy based on their digital experience, with 90 percent of consumers more likely to prefer stores with apps for shopping and paying.
With Apple’s latest integration of augmented reality (AR) directly into its newest hardware and software, the company is boldly attempting to bring this technology into the mainstream. Those with the latest iPhone will have the ability to create emojis that reflect their own facial expressions and will also be able to point their iPhone at a real-life scenario, such as a baseball game, and see AR enhancements, like a player’s stats. While this technology may not be fully baked, the point is that AR will inevitably spread because of its newfound accessibility.
Just imagine the endless possibilities this AR integration offers at retail. Rest assured that the next generation of apps, in-store sampling, live demonstrations, signage and in-store media are already well in development. Retailers can capitalize on this technology now by exploring ways to enhance the in-store experience. Shoppers increasingly expect products, services and experiences tailored to their lifestyles and unique needs. AR can be your lever to customize efficiently and effectively interact with today’s connected consumer.
QR Codes for Simplification
When QR codes were first introduced at retail, the goal was to use these monochromatic squares to help alleviate hardship by using the codes to track products, share websites, distribute coupons and more. Instead, they proved to be a dud because of their difficult and tedious user experience. However, Apple has now given this technology a new light since its newest operating system allows any iPhone camera to scan QR codes and redirect to a new site, without the need of a third-party app.
Retailers will be able to make use of QR codes in a number of ways. Facilitating transparency and storytelling can be made quick and seamless for shoppers by adding QR codes onto displays, shelf tags and even products themselves. To drive trial and repeat, consider incorporating QR codes on items to go straight to a re-order page or to get a promotional offer. And to enhance your omnichannel solutions, use QR codes to bridge the gap between physical and digital.
Apple Pay and Face ID for Turnkey Transactions
Digital wallets and mobile payments have taken off in recent years, helping seal the deal on nearly $30 million worth of transactions in 2016. If projections are right, penetration will only expand.
Apple has gotten ahead of this upward trend. People will now be able to use Apple Pay for peer-to-peer payments via Messenger or the iPhone text app. What’s more, Face ID will be used to verify transactions.
As Apply Pay and other mobile payment devices become more widely adopted, shoppers will expect seamless checkout in-store. Retailers should consider incorporating a tap or scan system or other technology-enabled approaches that make the checkout process effortless for shoppers, such as Wal-Mart’s Scan & Go system and Amazon.com’s "Just Walk Out" technology for a checkout-free experience.
Mobile is increasingly becoming a retail force to be reckoned with. More and more shoppers are demanding a different in-store experience — one that's digitally enhanced for mobile. Seamless integration with mobile is no longer a choice; it’s a must.
Nicole Peranick is the director of thought leadership, culinary at Daymon, a provider of expert global retail strategies and services..
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