Stories of note from January:
NRF Big Show 2012 – As mentioned, I was at the NRF show this week. Check out this video covering the underlying themes seen on the floor: mobile, consumer experience, convergence of channels, and inventory visibility.
Dominos Augmented Reality - Dominos is using Augmented Reality to sell pizza in the UK. Using the blippar app, users point their mobile’s camera at a billboard to see an overlay on their screen that they can touch for offers and ordering.
Microsoft Electronic Mirror – At CES this year, Microsoft was showing their version of a technology enhanced mirror concept. I’ve seen a few of these so far, and perhaps they are a bit ahead of their time. The Microsoft Kinect sure has some interesting possibilities for retail – particularly given it now has an official SDK - and eventually someone will work out a use case it in a retail setting that will add value to the customer experience.
Publix Cancels Curbside Pickup - US grocer Publix piloted a program for a year where customers can order groceries online and then have them brought to the car upon arrival to the store. The program has been cancelled. It’s an interesting idea, but I expect it is much simpler logistically to have customers come into the store to pick up their order or to have orders delivered to their home directly.
Intuit launching iPhone Payments in Canada – Staying ahead of Square, Intuit is expected to launch their GoPayment solution in Canada in the near future. I’ve had requests from friends and clients about an equivalent to Square in Canada, so expect they will have some takers. I will be most interested to see how they deal with EMV. Both the Intuit and Square solution include card swiping modules that connect to the iPhone or iPad. Those devices work fine with decades old MSR technology, but what about EMV and the requirement for reading chips from cards, and allowing entry of PINs- a requirement in Canada?