Tag Archives: shopping trends

Technology Trends that will Change our Retail Experience

A recent Forbes article predicts five key technology trends that will saturate the retail market by 2020. We’re moving in a direction that will make our shopping experiences more and more convenient and accessible. While physical stores are definitely here to stay for at least the foreseeable future, the way that we shop in stores is bound to change! The first prediction states that retail stores will embrace showrooming. Showrooming is when customers use retail stores as places to simply look at and try-on items before going online to make the actual purchase at a more competitive price.

Courtesy of Desk.com
Courtesy of Desk.com

So what’s the coolest part about this trend? Retailers will use beacons, a type of sensor that gives the retailer information about which items or sections of the store we were lingering around for a while, so that the retailer can suggest products for us to buy online that are tailored to our individual interests. This is just one example of the next trend: more analytics in stores.

Besides using the beacons, stores will have technology to track our buying habits and product preferences by analyzing our actions in store. The next technology trend goes far beyond measuring just our in-store movements. Sensory technology will soon help retailers detect our emotional responses to the products, signs, and advertisements that we see in store.

To make our life a bit easier, payments are expected to become completely transparent with mobile payment options and pre-pay options that will allow us to go in the store, pick up the items that we’ve already bought through our smartphone, and walk out with no checkout process. Just imagine how easy it would be to shop!

Last but not least, sources predict that the role of sales associates will shift because many of their tasks will become automated.   Store navigation, self-checkout, and product information will be made available to customers through technology devices, therefore freeing up sales associates to focus on building profitable relationships with customers.

While some of these technology trends may seem unbelievable at first, a lot can change in five years. With the increasing trend of mobile and online shopping, there’s no way that retail stores can afford to stay stagnant in their retail approach. I am all for making the shopping experience as convenient and seamless as possible! What’s your new favorite shopping technology trend?

By: Jaclyn Parker

OUT with the Mood Ring, IN with the Chameleon Scarf

Photo: Courtesy of thisnext.com
Photo: Courtesy of thisnext.com

Flashback to the 1980’s and 90’s, and you’ll remember the mass appeal of mood rings amongst kids. I remember watching my mood ring as it turned colors, waiting to see if it could accurately depict my mood. Now in the 21st Century we have graduated from mood rings to “Chameleon Scarves.”

Photo: Courtesy of Neffa, Featured on Refinery 29
Photo: Courtesy of Neffa, Featured on Refinery 29

The Amsterdam textile company, Neffa, has created a silk-chiffon scarf that changes pattern according to temperature, UV light, and the wearer’s mood. A recent Refinery 29 article explains how this scarf works. The colors and prints turn to a bright color when the user’s body temperature is normal like it would be when a person is content.   When a person gets stressed or angry, their body temperature often rises. When this happens, the heat-responsive thermochromic ink in the scarf detects it and makes the pattern disappear.

Ever feel like it’s hard to decipher your own emotions? There are more items besides this scarf that can help! Mood-clothing technology has been seen in items such as sweaters, nail polish, and evening wear. I wonder what’s next! Mood detecting shoes perhaps? What’s your opinion on this kind of technology? Would you wear the Chameleon Scarf?

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By: Jaclyn Parker