Expect an amazing ride into the future.
Cisco invited me to a Q&A session following some research they had done in the future of the retail segment and how technology helps with it. They started the presentation with a video that I think you should also have a look at before we talk more on the subject
The Virtual Mirror that you looked at above is quite simply brilliant and shows you how technology will empower every facet of our live. No longer will you need to run back to the isle grab another size or color of the apparel you want to purchase. Simply check yourself out with all the choices the store has to offer and pick the correct size and color and you should be good to go. I can easily see the Virtual Mirror moving out of the stores and possibly as a display at your home connected to the various apparel outlets. Swipe, tap, purchase and wait for the delivery. Extremely convenient.
The research dived deep on many facts and figures and came up with the following findings:
1) Shoppers prefer online sources to “real people” in making buying decisions. In the 2010 survey, 60 percent of respondents identified “friends and family” as one of the top three sources of information for making buying decisions, with 21 percent of respondents naming in-store employees as a top-three source. In the 2011 survey, 41 percent of respondents named friends and family, and only 13 percent chose in-store employees as their top-three source of information for making buying decisions.
2) Different digital content influences different buying triggers. The latest survey found that digital content and capabilities frequently compel consumers to buy. One in two shoppers said that digital content influenced purchase decisions via the “find,” “dealseeking,” and “discover” triggers. One in five respondents felt that digital content influenced he “inspire” trigger.
3) In-store digital content is an important buying influencer. There is growing interest in using digital and highly visual content in the store to help make buying decisions. Roughly one in two U.S. respondents now uses or wants to use an in-store kiosk for self-service or for accessing web-based content.
4) Cross-channel shopping behavior is prevalent and desired—even inside store walls. It was no surprise that researching products online, then purchasing them in a store, was the most popular form of cross-channel shopping, with nearly three-fourths of respondents doing it now or indicating an interest in doing so.
Cisco’s findings show us that the consumer of today is so much involved in using technology as a tool for buying decision. But there is a scary side to the story as well and that is the amount of data being collected on you. People love to put their pictures on Facebook left and right and have no issues checking in on foursqaure and posting that on twitter. We’re already living in a world where Google probably knows better than me on what my wife wants for her birthday. And that is not necessarily a good thing.