Picture of Product as Tender – Weetabix in the UK recently had an offer where consumers can obtain a free Weetabix On The Go in a retail store by merely showing the cashier an image of the product. And I thought retailers had fun with regular old coupons. While it’s kinda fun, it seems somewhat pointless. Effectively it’s the same as telling clients just to ask for a free sample – and that’s what will happen in stores as we all know.
Google ‘Kiosks’ - Google has announced a managed public sessions feature for chromebooks. Google envisions this as a simple way to enable chromebooks as public internet kiosks for stores to offer customers a way to purchase things online that may not be in stock at the store or other ‘kiosk-type’ solutions. As a retail technology professional I find these sorts of announcements interesting because it seems a bit like looking for a reason to have a feature. It’s been possible to lock down kiosk terminals, notebooks, tablets, and even regular old pcs with kiosk mode on browsers or with special software packages for some time. While a chromebook is a bit cheaper than a full fledged notebook, this kiosk feature seems a marginal benefit.
51 Companies – Business Insider has an incredibly exhaustive list of 51 Retail Innovators that is a must read list for retailers. I’ve covered a number of the companies using technology for retail, but this a great list to provide some inspiration. Some of my favourites: fab (curation), hointer (using your mobile for catalog like shopping in a store), and stylitics (track your wardrobe – think fashion only pinterest with what you have, not just what you want).
eBay Pop-up Store – eBay is apparently moving into real world retail as a part of a partnership with Kate Spade. Unofficially, a pop-up Kate Spade store in NYC will be outfitted with a large touch screen window, presumably to allow purchases of items in the store. eBay wish to provide a platform to assist real world retail sites to meld with the online.
Purchext – A new Canadian app shown at Disrupt NYC 2013 provides parents the chance to remotely validate purchases of their children for release of funds to their bank account. Interesting idea that I could see grocers considering within their own systems to ensure that family’s keep their purchases in the chain! So much for the party run to the grocery store on dad’s card.