The day that we all become as tech-savvy and suave as Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible is fast approaching. How do I know? A few years after a Cruise movie is on the big screen, his cool gadgets are for sale in a store near you. Don’t believe me? Just watch any 24-hour cable news show and you will see that they are all using the same multi-touch wall display that Tom Cruise first popularized in the movie, Minority Report.Now, Google is saying that we can be just like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible with the release of his iconic sunglasses that project information onto the lens. Can you imagine it? You could be walking around New York City with turn by turn navigation, getting information on local restaurants, activities, even places your friends have recently checked in on Foursquare or Facebook, all while strolling along, looking up instead of down at a phone (or a map… remember those?!).
The fervor and excitement this device is creating has endless potential. I think a product like this will influence how retailers reach out to shoppers. For example, in the future, the customer won’t be sitting at home, miles away from a store location…they will be right outside your door searching for products on their sleek Mission-Impossible-sunglasses. As a result of this change, more focused local or location-based advertising will begin to replace the need for expansive mass media campaigns.
The shift to more personalized advertising is already taking place with the rapid popularization of the smartphone. According to our Consumer Pulse report: How Smartphones are Changing the Retail Shopping Experience, released last year, over half of all smartphone owners use their device when shopping in a retail store. Currently, retailers are wary of these customers as “show roomers” who will go in store to browse, but who make their purchases online to find a better price.
Instead of worrying, retailers need to take action and realize that these tech advancements in shopping can be used to their advantage to create a personalized shopping experience. Leveraging data already collected from loyalty programs or Point of Sale can provide shoppers with a compelling reason to make their purchases in a retail store, creating and providing a seamless and elevated experience for the buyer. The resources to make this experience a reality are available; retailers have the data, it is just a matter of learning how to use it effectively.
Someday, when we are all like Tom Cruise and wearing spy-like glasses, advertising will need to be personalized and relevant to the individual. Such a marketing technique will draw people in, breaking through the mass noise and bombardment of content available all around you. No longer will accurate advertising and recommendation-engine results be relegated to online sites alone—it will be a part of your everyday life, maybe even programmed into your sunglasses.
What do you think? Will mobile technology transform the retail shopping experience?
Posted by Kirsten Rasmuson, Kirsten is a Senior Project Manager on CMB’s Retail practice. She’s looking forward to welcoming our new robot overlords.