Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Digital Retail

No, this is not about ecommerce. I know the title could be a bit misleading, hence I wanted to clarify upfront that I am not going to write about ecommerce.

How many times we return from shopping and realize that you forgot to buy something or realize that you have run out of that favorite shampoo which you did not put in your shopping list. Many a time, I wish the aisles in the store would magically rearrange and I could straight away find what I need without reaching out to a store assistant. These were the problems that I was trying to solve when I came about this flash on a digitally enhanced store assistant on my mobile device.

The concept is the user (someone like me) creates a shopping list in a retailer website, mobile site gets synchronized on the app (if not already entered using the app). When the user walks into the store, the ibeacon identifies the user and links the app to the store planogram. The Augmented reality enabled app then highlights the exact spots in the store where the products that the user is interested in by overlaying highlights using the store background. It also creates the shortest pathway to complete the shopping faster. Enroute the shopping path, there are opportunities for the retailer to highlight the most relevant offers that the user is most likely to be interested in, and highlighted products that the user typically buys but did not have on the list (as a reminder). The different product listing could be color coded differently, for example the items on the shopping list – red, promotions and offers – amber, and the reminder (personalized recommendations) in green, etc.

This augmented reality app digitally enhances the user’s physical shopping experience. Though there are already apps that use augmented reality to highlight offers and products, the concept of using augmented reality to personalize the shopping route and experience of the user is what I would like to propagate.