Technology is changing the future of bricks and mortar shopping by leaps and bounds, I expect that before December 21, 2012 that the following types of experiences will be commonplace;
A consumer walks into a store and a device at the door will connect with their smartphone over a wi-fi network, recording their MAC address. Based on their history of previous visits, promotions and information will be sent to them on items that they have exhibited an interest in either from their purchase or traffic history. As they wander through the store, similar devices will track the departments that they visited and how long they spent time there and what parts of the store interested them, these wi-fi devices are configurable to track traffic within circles as small as 10 feet
Using their mobile devices, consumers will be able to receive additional discounts by linking their devices to a profile that would have optional extended information such as favorite labels, sizes, etc. These profiles would also have an image that would be displayed from the consumer’s Facebook or other social media feed so that store associates would be able to recognize them. Once registered, store associates would receive a feed on their tablet or other mobile device, when the consumer was in their vicinity showing the customers name, their image and some product recommendations and comments, so that they may greet them and provide relevant information to enhance the shopping experience.
When the consumer is ready to make their purchases either using their mobile devices or via a sales associate, a CRM record will be created linking their purchases to the MAC address and an anonymous profile will be created for the consumer unless they opted to create a personal profile. This will all be device and technology agnostic so multiple platforms and technologies can be supported (Bump, NFC etc).
At the portal where the consumers created their profile, they would get a history of all their purchases as well as able to track new shipments based on category brand, color size or other classifications or attributes that the retailer may establish. Consumers could create their own dressing rooms or shopping carts at any time and when they are ready to stop at the store they can send a message via the portal to the store requesting that those items be pulled and ready for them. Upon entry to the store, their device will activate a message to store personnel so that the items can be brought to an associate. As the consumer gets in proximity of the associate, they will appear in the associate’s mobile stream together with information about the items in their dressing room or cart.
Of course if the consumer elects, all their purchase history and things that they put in their shopping cart can be posted to Facebook, Twitter and Google + with a gaming component that will allow them to get loyalty points that can be exchanged for merchandise based on how many of their social media friends comment or like the posts.
Now I need to call my wireless company, they don’t seem to be tracking me as my GPS is not working. Who would have thought five years ago that I would be upset if my phone carrier was not able to monitor my every movement.