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RTIH brings you this week’s coolest retail technology plays

RTIH Editor, Scott Thompson, brings you his top ‘future of retail systems’ deployments from the past week, including augmented reality vouchers, livestream shopping, and Amazon opening its first ever physical fashion store.

M·A·C Cosmetics

Beauty and fashion tech solutions provider, Perfect Corp., has partnered with M·A·C Cosmetics, and online product sampling platform, SoPost, for a personalised omnichannel shopping experience.

This combines AR virtual try-on and personalised AI shade matching, with physical product sampling delivered to shoppers’ door. 

It will be accessed through a call to action that sits across multiple activation points across the consumer journey including social platforms (Facebook and Instagram), and retailer and brand websites.

The initiative will first launch for the M·A·C Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in the United Kingdom.

Aldi UK

Discount retailer Aldi UK has launched its first checkout-free location.

The Aldi Shop&Go concept store in Greenwich, London opened this week for public testing, having been tested by staff members in recent months.

Situated on Greenwich High Street, it enables customers to complete their shop without scanning a single product, or having to go through a checkout.

They can download the Aldi Shop&Go app, which will allow them to enter the store, pick up their items, and then walk out when they have completed their shop. 

Once a customer leaves the store they will then be automatically charged via their selected payment method and a receipt will appear in the app.

The system, provided by AiFi, uses specially positioned cameras.

Those people wishing to buy alcohol, or other Challenge 25 products, will be able to use facial age estimation technology, provided by Yoti, to authorise their purchase. 

Selfridges

In recent weeks, Selfridges has been experimenting with livestream shopping and now the UK department store retailer has streamed its first show in Cantonese.

“Livestream shopping offers a more engaging and interactive way to shop, compared to the traditional e-commerce user experience,“ says Tuf Gavaz, Head Of Product Management at Selfridges

“In 2021 Chinese consumers were due to spend $300 billion on products featured in livestream shopping, according to Coresight Research, and it’s just getting going in the west.”

Gaza adds: “By experimenting in this area we get to learn first hand about its potential. We hypothesise that a more immersive experience will lead to higher engagement, higher conversion and happier customers.”

Nisa Retail

Nisa has announced a UK wide roll-out of Jisp’s augmented reality vouchering system, Scan & Save, to independent retailers.

The move follows a pilot, which delivered 82,116 scans, 40,001 taps and 32,895 redemptions on Scan & Save branded AR vouchers from September to December. 

Participating retailers accumulated a combined discount redemption value of £36,211 with over 2,300 unique shoppers, 81%, becoming repeat redeemers.

Farmstead

US-based online grocer Farmstead has opened a waitlist for its upcoming Chicago launch. 

Service is scheduled to begin in early 2022, and will initially be available in both the city of Chicago and nearby suburbs, with delivery in as little as one hour.

Chicago is Farmstead’s fifth market. The company’s service originated in the San Francisco Bay area, and it also serves Miami, Fla. and Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, NC. 

Tesco

Tesco’s one-hour delivery service Whoosh will be available from at least 600 of the grocery giant’s stores by the end of next year.

“It is a mission that customers now want and we’re clear on that,” CEO Ken Murphy said on Tesco’s Christmas trading call last week. 

“Whether it’s incremental is hard to tell, but it’s somewhere we need to be and it needs to fit in with our overall proposition so customers can tap in to our wider strategy and are able to buy from us wherever and whenever.” 

Marks and Spencer

Żabka Group

Żabka Group says that it now has the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe after launching 25 Żabka Nano locations across Poland.

These operate in several formats such as standalone shipping container-based stores, traditional bricks and mortar and store within a store points of sale, each leveraging AI powered computer vision technology created in cooperation with AiFi.

River Island

River Island has partnered with supply chain transparency platform Segura.

The retailer recently published its ‘12 Commitments for People and Planet’, each aligned to the United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.

Segura will support River Island in the delivery of its commitments with its SaaS solution, providing the ability to manage and track orders giving suppliers fewer opportunities to use unwanted third parties, or factories in lower tiers that may be sub-standard.

Amazon

Amazon will open its first ever physical fashion store later this year, and it will be tech centric (natch).

“We wouldn’t do anything in physical retail unless we felt we could significantly improve the customer experience,” says Simoina Vasen, a Managing Director.

The 30,000 square feet Amazon Style store will be situated at The Americana at Brand, a shopping destination in greater Los Angeles.

Using the Amazon Shopping app, customers can send items to a fitting room, where they can use a touchscreen to browse more options, rate items, and request more sizes or styles that are delivered to the room.

Machine learning algorithms, meanwhile, produce tailored, real-time recommendations for each customer as they shop.

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