The (R)Evolution of In-Store Events
Who's Adopting the Technology?
It will depend on the retailer and their sophistication with technology. In general terms, SaaS and m-commerce will to continue to gain momentum and eventually become the norm in retail. In addition, there will be a change in the definition of m-commerce as it becomes anywhere commerce through mobile. Currently m-commerce is still primarily online shopping via mobile, while most of in-store shopping or purchasing is done through physical transactions. In the future, these lines blur as both in-store and online shopping transactions are completed via mobile devices.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, will see slower adoption. It will likely be limited to marketing efforts and selected consumer engagement with new products.
Combining the Human Element
The world of retail is changing and retailers will have to implement new technologies in order to stay in the game. While new innovations like augmented reality and virtual mirrors make the consumer experience even more engaging, one thing is clear: technologies aren't going to replace the human element of in-store events. Human interactions are still part of basic nature and a primary driver for people to walk inside the store. Instead, these technologies will enhance the work that in-store marketers do.
Abhi Beniwal is the senior vice president of global information technology for Interactions, a provider of natural conversational automated systems.