Top 10 digital technologies for the retail sector-How they work

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Top 10 digital technologies for the retail sector-How they work

Technology has dramatically changed how shoppers research, decide and purchase. The variety of ways shoppers interact with brands has evolved at a rapid pace and retailers can get overwhelmed by the pressures applied on them to incorporate digital technologies into their customer experience.

“Digital technologies” in the Retail sector encompasses everything from the ePOS or payment terminal to interactive mirrors and VR systems in a store. This fast-moving pace of technology and trends can make it difficult to be aware of the various types of digital technologies for retail and what exactly they do.

Today, we outline our top 10 digital technologies for the retail sector and give an example of how it can be used in a store.

1. Virtual mannequins/ Interactive hangers – Are displayed on screens near the clothing. When an item is picked up by the customers, the screen displays images of the item being modelled on the screen. Giving the customer a visual of what it might look like on and also gives them ideas how to wear the item.

2. Augmented Reality – Can be used for reading reviews, watching product videos, and ordering online. AR enhances the view of the product and gives shoppers a visual how this item might look in person.

American Apparel uses it to give customer quality information using their own mobile.

3. NFC-compatible supermarket – NFC (Near Field Communications) most commonly used for mobile payments, it connects two devices together up to 4cm apart. NFC labels allow customers to scan the product label using their mobile add the item to their basket then pay using their mobile at the till.

4. Scan as you shop– Introduced by Tesco supermarket, scan as you shop, is integrated to their Tesco Club card loyalty program. Tesco trolleys have a digital scanner attached and the customer scans their club card and scans the items they wish to purchase.

5. iBeacons – are a form of geo-targeting usually identified through a store app. If the customer has the store app on their mobile, i-beacons can track the customer’s behaviour in-store and send targeted push notifications to the customer based on past purchases or demographics.

6. Tablet technology – known to encourage interactivity and engagement from the customer. Tablet technology is favoured by retailers as they can reduce queues for checkouts, capture customers information and process orders from the store floor.

Acustom Apparel in New York has raised the bar with tablet technology in their store by using it to offer customers a 3D body scanner so the customer can customise clothes to their shape in store. Other stores have introduced large touchscreens on the store floor that works as an interactive mirror and recommend other products in-store to the customer.
7. Digital signage- is used to attract and engage passing trade and shopper’s in-store through real-time content, offers and promotions. Digital signage can be updated quickly and engage customer through real-time marketing. They also can be used to gamify loyalty programs and promotions in store.

8. Virtual reality – Topshop fashion outlet makes use of virtual reality technology to show the runway fashion show, as if you were there, to model clothes and enhance the customer’s experience.

9. Digital advertising – Similar to digital signage and tablet technology, digital advertising can link to businesses content management system and update content quickly. This enables brands to engage in real-time and react to what’s happening externally. Keeping your brand advertising up to date and relevant.

10. In-store Wi-Fi – Free internet access allows customers to use their mobile to check size availability, compare prices and even check their bank account details while in- store. This links the online and offline experience quite simply.

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