Panasonic Debuts Smart Shopping Basket That Can Tally Your Bill

What Happened
Following Amazon’s awe-inspiring introduction of a checkout-free grocery shop, Panasonic today joined the race to automate the retail experience with a smart shopping basket. Capable of scanning the items shoppers put in the basket, tallying up the bill, and automatically bagging up the purchases at the end of the shopping trip, this smart shopping basket is designed to make shopping more convenient and frictionless without full-on surveillance. Panasonic is currently testing the prototype at a Lawson convenience store in Osaka, Japan where the company is headquartered.

What Retailers Should Do
As retail technology continues to evolve at an incredible speed, it is becoming increasingly important for retailers to leverage those technological advances to modernize their retail experiences both online and in-store. For example, an interactive digital station would make product sampling much more fun and effective, as our recent work with Hershey’s has demonstrated. Even smaller things such as integrating your loyalty program into mobile payment system would greatly improve your customer experience and boost brand loyalty.

The Lab has extensive experience working with retail, beauty, and CPG clients to create and implement digitally-enhanced experiences for their stores. The recently-opened NYX Cosmetics store at Union Square is a proud showcase of our team’s work in crafting a digitally enhanced, innovative retail experience. If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can develop an updated retail strategy and implement digital-driven solutions to transform your retail experience, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: The Wall Street Journal

How American Girl Is Modernizing Its Retail Experience

What Happened
Toy retailer American Girl is moving its New York flagship store from Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center with a revamped concept in fall 2017. The Mattel-owned brand is looking to reinvent its retail experience to offer more customization. For example, the new store will include an AG Signature Studio where customers can design clothes and accessories for both their dolls and themselves. It will also have private rooms for hosting “personalized parties” and a salon that will help both the customers and their dolls get new looks.

Besides customization, the retailer is looking to draw in doll-lovers by offering unique in-store experiences. The store will debut a media studio, where the retailer plans to host animation workshops for creating stop-motion videos with American Girl dolls, as well as cooking and yoga classes. Digital kiosks will be installed to help with store navigation and booking reservations, which will also be synced up with a new American Girl app.

What Retailers Need To Do
By focusing on personalization and offering unique in-store experiences, American Girl provides a great example of how retailers can modernize their retail experience and give customers good reasons to visit. With more and more consumers choosing the convenience of online shopping over physical stores, brick-and-mortar retailers need to take the initiative in creating in-store experiences that provide added value for customers.

For more information on how retailers can leverage digital technology to modernize their retail experience, please check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: Racked

Amazon Issues Refunds For Bad Streaming

Many online business models make timely customer service problematic. When something goes wrong, often the only person reacting to it is the customer.  Amazon is advancing this model in its video streaming service by enabling automated refunds to customers who have received less than ideal service due to a problem on Amazon’s end.  The systems developed by the distribution giant automatically detect situations sub-par service instances affecting user experience, and issue refunds.  This model is more expensive, but CEO Jeff Bezos notices that it “surprises, delights, and earns trust,” which may be more valuable in the long run than the small amount the company may refund.