Examples of Smart Stores that are already trading – Ausdroid

For years there has been news about smart stores, points of sale in which virtually every part of the shopping experience is automated. Stores that can operate with little or no staff. But most of these stories were about 0utlets that had been created to test the waters and help designers and engineers find and address technological downsides.

But in recent years, retailers have finally managed to take these concept stores and turn them into real, live operations. Stores that any consumer can use. Here are some examples.

Scan and make cashless purchases

In Australia and many other countries, cashless shopping is becoming more and more available. This shopping style allows consumers to use their smartphones to scan items while placing them in their baskets or bags. Then pay with the app. At that point, they can exit the store through the exit that has been configured to scan and exit, cashless shoppers. The Woolworths and 7-eleven chains were the first to adopt in Australia. It’s an approach that has proven extremely popular with shoppers. So much so, that both chains are implementing the system in more stores.

Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh

Amazon has taken the concept of scanning and has taken a few steps forward. Currently, they have four stores in operation in cities in the United States and one in London. Through a combination of artificial intelligence, deep learning, geofencing, sensors, and computer vision, the technology can detect what a customer chooses from the shelf. If they stick with it, that item is added to their bill. When they finish shopping, they just walk through the door. At that point, the total invoice is calculated and that amount is charged to your bank account, credit card, or other payment system. You can find out exactly how the system works here.

All stores work fine. To the point where, in March 2020, Amazon offered the technology to other retailers.

Sephora digital test mirrors

Unsurprisingly, digital displays are playing a major role in the smart shopping revolution. We have all seen digital signage in supermarkets which is used to share important information with buyers. For example, to remind them to maintain social distancing, use hand sanitizer and wear a mask when CoVid infection rates make it necessary.

They are also increasingly replacing posters, banners, and sandwich panels. The fact that any ad can be displayed on them at any time and that what is displayed on them can be changed very quickly makes them extremely powerful marketing tools.

But digital displays are being used more and more in other ways. For example, the French beauty and personal care retailer Sephora recently introduced digital mirrors in some of its Spanish stores. They are giant digital screens that are equipped with cameras that show the customer in live time on the screen. The elements you want to test are superimposed on that image to see how they look. Other retailers are using them as well. Especially those that sell clothes and accessories. Including John Lewis and Tesco, in the UK. In addition to Adidas and UniQlo.

Interactive kiosk shopping experiences

Digital touch screens also play a role in another type of smart shopping experience: interactive kiosks. With this technology the options are endless.

Fashion retailer Next and some of the UK supermarkets are now using kiosks to allow customers to return products without having to queue at the customer service counter. Scanning technology ensures that only items that are in stock are returned. They are then manually reviewed to make sure they comply with the return policy and credit is given once it has been made.

The fashion industry is taking another step forward. Offering people the opportunity to shop at Vending machines They have interactive screens installed in the front. Some allow shoppers to browse their collection as if they were online. Customers select what they like, see how it all looks together, and then click buy. The items they have selected are chosen from the store display by staff members or the shopper receives a list of aisles, so they can do it themselves. It sounds counterintuitive. But because it speeds up the buying process, these interactive display kiosks are proving to be extremely popular.

As you can see, the approach to automating the physical shopping experience varies between industries. This is not surprising given that consumers are still getting used to using these types of stores. However, as the smart store industry evolves, you can expect to see certain approaches and technology begin to dominate.

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