Innovating UX with Virtual Displays

| By: Heather Nigro

Innovative Ideas for Leveraging Technology to Improve Shopping and Buying Experiences for Customers

There is no denying that technology is shaping the future of retail.  As brick and mortar stores are at a crossroads, a study by Capgemini found that more than half of shoppers globally think that by 2020, physical stores will increasingly become merely showrooms. The blend of physical goods with the desire to create a seamless, personal and relevant shopping experience is becoming more evident in preparation to attract the future Gen2020 consumer.

With the convergence of ecommerce, mobile and physical retail to create new interactions for the consumer, it’s important to start brainstorming now on ideas to implement your “store of the future” so you’re not left behind.  Below are a few innovative concepts on our radar.

Augmented Reality

Ever wish you could see how new furniture looks in your home before you buy it?

Ikea found that 14 percent of its customers end up taking home furniture that turned out to be the wrong size for its intended location.  For their 2014 catalog, Ikea developed an augmented reality app to give a virtual preview of furniture in a room to help eliminate this challenge.

Blippar, a company pioneering this trend is helping companies like Coca Cola and General Mills build interactive experiences that start out with print images or products and ignite video content on mobile devices. Covergirl recently used Blippar to promote their “Bombshell” mascara.

Virtual Stores

The next big thing in shopping may be walking away empty handed.

Tesco, a multinational grocer created a concept with the hopes of blending the shopping experience into people everyday lives. By placing their Homeplus Subway Virtual Store in key stations throughout Korea, their  “let the store come to the people” concept was a tremendous success resulting in a 130% increase in online sales.

Although virtual, the displays are exactly the same as what you would see in one of their locations, including the product. The only thing different is that you use your smart phone to shop. The items are delivered to your door within the hour, which helps to reduce long waiting lines, and having to transport the items home.

Interactive Dining

Touch screen tables revolutionize the dining experience, but is it calorie free?

Last month, Pizza Hut debuted an interactive touchscreen table where customers can design and order their own pies. Diners “sign in” to the concept table using their smartphone, and can then choose their size of pie, sauce, cheese and toppings and add sides before making their order. While they wait for their food, they can play games on the table, using it like a giant tablet.

eTags + iBeacon

 The future generation of fitting room has your size…

Showcasing the latest in interactive displays and iBeacon technology, Hointer’s Whoosh Fitting Room and eTags revolutionizes the shopping experience. Scan an item in the store with your smartphone; select a size or multiple sizes in the app, and robotics will have the items waiting for you in your fitting room. While in the fitting room, use the app to select other sizes. And even pay for the items without having to visit a cash register.

Technology has definitely been shaping not only how brands and retailers do business, but also how customers expect to shop.  It won’t be long before these innovative ideas for leveraging technology to improve shopping and purchase experiences become standard practice. How will you improve your customers’ user experience?

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Heather Nigro is a Commerce Strategist at Corra, a New York and Los Angeles digital agency specializing in ecommerce solutions for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands and retailers. Corra designs and optimizes shopping experiences, enabling long-term buying relationships between merchants and customers on all channels and all devices.