Apple and Nordstrom re-shaping future retail

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Insight & Strategy is one of TRP’s pillars and main area of expertise. This month, we are focusing on insight and [retail bytes] takes a look at how the mix between tech and data can do wonders. Get ready to discover how real-time insight can help retailers quickly adjust prices in response to footfall,
and even help with staff safety in-store.

We know what you did last summer: Speaking of insight – retailers will now be able to track footfall outside their stores and adjust prices in real time in response to heat maps. In a new announcement from LDC on September 14th a new slew of high street retail sensors has been tested in London retail zones, bringing an hour-by-hour picture of what is actually going on in front of the stores. In-store footfall tracking is done using MAC-randomised IDs so the data can’t be used for sending marketing messages as it is anonymised for retailers. However, just knowing the passing-by numbers and the precise flow of the customers on an hourly basis helps to adjust visual merchandising, staffing, pricing and events schedules to suit customers better. Get sensor-ready for the Xmas rush to stay in the picture.

Samsung is a girl’s best friendSoloProtect, a new wearable solution from the Samsung/Reemo combo offers a smartwatch for work that will help with safety, as announced at the Mobile Expo on September 11th. Many smaller stores and boutiques or galleries have only one person on their premises and help can’t get to them easily in an emergency. Samsung Gear S3 integrates with SoloProtect by providing round-the-clock insights, monitoring and automatic alerts to an Emergency Dispatch Centre (EDC) along with geolocation and person status. As many boutique/store managers are female, work alone and are constantly exposed to increased city crime during work hours, retail employee safety is high on the agenda for wearables suppliers. Great way to use insights and technology to prevent crime.

The Big Apple reclaims its apple: New York will get its Apple shop cube back, as announced by Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry boss who’s now their head of retail, and also someone who knows how to extract premium from our wallets. The big launch event on September 12th was full of Apple news, but New Yorkers zoomed in on the closing brick-and-mortar shop plans of the rollout as the transparent cube pop-up has quickly became an iconic part of Manhattan’s shopping scene. The debate on the future of physical shops rages on but Apple is showing that less is more for shoppers. Nothing is more fun than browsing for your new Apple gear in the cube, while catching some rays in the fully transparent store. Love.

Return of the QR kid? IOS11 has a new feature that will get rid of having to type in web addresses for your online shopping. The iPhone camera can now scan QR codes directly, without having to use an extra third-party scanning app. China has been using QR codes printed on market stalls and products for a couple of years now and customers love the ease of paying using a camera. For those using Shopify, the Shopcodes generator is available too now, so others will need to get their QR skates on. Do it.

Bit barista and coffee 2.0: BitBarista is turning coffee shops into self-maintaining co-ops using bitcoins. When in Scotland, do as the locals do and pay for your coffee using bitcoin. If you have time, you can also help to clean and refill the water or clean the grids and the machine will say thanks then pay you back in the electronic currency. A beautiful Delonghi coffee machine connected to a Raspberry Pi computer is the engine behind this genius idea. The boundary between customers and staff is changing as Internet of Things is coming of age.

Upcoming events: A new Nordstrom launches in West Hollywood on October 3rd – remember to email us for invitations for the soft launch if you’re planning to be in the neighbourhood. It will be well worth it, as Nordstrom is testing a new format, which is non-stock and personal stylist-based, where high end customers will get pampered. Appointments will be 1-2-1 and orders will be taken for Internet delivery on the next day. The future of retail?