Attention Shoppers: Prepare For More Tracking, Technology In Stores

Published: Friday, January 6, 2017 - 8:42am
Updated: Friday, January 6, 2017 - 8:44am
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
More interactive displays, augmented reality and tracking sensors are among retailers' plans for physical stores.

Tracking customer movements and using more technology will be the focus for some retailers in the New Year. During a November conference in Scottsdale, industry experts talked about the physical "store of the future" which sounds more like a playground for brands and products.

In June of 2015, consultant Frank Quix and his team in the Netherlands created what they called the store of the future, about 3,500 square feet where retailers and manufacturers tested technology.

Customers could order customized buttons for their blue jeans created by a 3-D printer. They could try on different shades of lipstick using augmented reality, basically holding a pad or tablet that acts like a mirror.

And, they were tracked – a lot. From heat mapping to show how bodies moved throughout the store to sensors positioned on shelves.

“As soon as people were standing in front of it I could get a message on my watch that at a certain point somebody is already there for two minutes or for one half-minute and then you could approach them immediately and then you could ask them if they needed any help,” Quix said.

After a year, Quix and his team closed their store of the future and opened another one designed solely for companies to test new ideas.  

David Anzia works for a Wisconsin-based company focused on in-store displays.

Anzia said he predicts many retailers will move beyond touchscreens, “And actually putting photos of things on a wall or putting the images on a screen within a store so you’re not engaging with a smaller unit and looking down. It’s going to be in a big, grander scale.”

You may also see technology stretch past the walls.

At their store of the future, Quix’s team found that projecting a moving light display on the floor just two feet outside the entrance increased foot traffic inside by 20 percent.