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The Digital Business Kit for Retailers

Learning Outcomes

Retailers will understand what Rich Media is and how retailers are using it to sell their products and services. [printfriendly]

mod-arrow Trends

It is important to stay on top of trends but don’t let them overwhelm you. Knowing what is currently improving the retail experience and what is on the horizon helps you plan. Remember you can customise the plan to your needs to get the best results within your capacity.

Consumers are increasingly reaching for their mobile devices to research products, compare prices and get recommendations; this behavior has significantly impacted the retail industry. According to Retail Systems Research*, 80% of retailers believe their store results will continue to erode unless they incorporate technology as part of the store experience.

To help prevent the showrooming trend (where customer try on products in-store then order them online from a cheaper source), retailers identified the top two opportunities:

  • 60% cited focusing on a more convenient customer experience
  • 48% cited bringing more digital and online experiences to store. (Source: News-sap.com)
Interactive Rich Media & Augmented Reality
It sounds complicated but actually ties together a number of Rich Media tools into an even richer media experience for your shoppers. It can tie your print media to video and as well, to your website for example.

Tablet Use on Retail Floor
This can support shoppers in satisfying all of their product-knowledge needs as well as support staff who may be dealing with large inventories.

Increased Combinations of Mobile + Social + Video
The combination of three big Rich Media trends will make its own trend. Success of Twitter-owned Vine, a mobile service for sharing six-second looping videos, and Facebook’s introduction of video on Instagram, mean that video will be the format of choice for people to share their moments and a go-to tactic for brands to engage with customers.

Overall Rich Media will continue to grow as an element of online business because it works. As an example, a photo posted to Facebook gets 20x more engagement than other posts; a press release paired with images, videos, and downloadable files will garner up to 9.7x more views than a text release alone and visuals are processed 60,000x faster than plain text (Source: 3M Corporation)

Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth.

Future Trends

The trend technologies that are shown on this page are actually in use but are not mainstream (yet) and are good to be aware of as you plan further into the future. However taking care of basic Rich Media requirements in your business first is suggested before jumping onto these more advanced trends.


Machine-to-machine / Internet-of-things

This is an evolution of the mobile shopping experience as increasingly machines in the retail space will communicate directly with shoppers mobile devices. This can include sharing specials, recommendations based on shopper behavior and much more. This article by Microsoft explains thetrends quite well.

Or the new Firefly app by Amazon. Duly noted, this may not be good for you as a retailer, however, we expect there will soon be more apps like this that will allow or connect to other online stores like yours (note here “yet”).

Virtual fitting Rooms

See the following videos on Virtual Fitting Rooms:

Virtual Dressing Room/Interactive Mirror Kinect – YouTube

Virtual shopping kiosks

Publically-located kiosks allow for users to experience a large scale online shopping experience that will often deliver their products before they get home. Common in travel ports such as air, bus, subways etc.

Virtual fitting room by Fitting Reality – YouTube
More Retail Trend Resources
If you would like to see more on the future of Rich Media and the shopping experience, the following videos are more in depth.

The Science of Shopping and Future of Retail: Devora Rogers at TEDxWakeForestU – YouTube

TED Talk: Future of eCommerce pick and pack | Luxury Activist

Upcoming Trends

Other exciting upcoming trends include near field communications, augmented reality, image recognition, location based technology. If you are interested in seeing how these work for retail businesses visit the Case Studies page.