This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Holidays are the busiest time of the year when it comes to shopping. With all of the mobile technology available to consumers, they expect a more personalized experience online and in stores. The Samsung Insights Blog shared that the “The number of IoT-connected devices would reach 38.5 billion in 2020, a 285 percent increase from 13.4 billion in 2015, according to a 2015 report from Juniper Research. Such devices include smartphones, tablets, smart signage and wearables. “ Some of the new technology being used to create a more personalized experience includes “beacons, radio frequency identification (RFID) and smart digital displays.” Because mobile devices are one of the key tools I use for work and family management, I decided to learn more about those technologies to empower my “more personalized” shopping experience.
BEACONS: Beacons are small objects that transmit location information to smartphones powered by Bluetooth Low Energy, which does not take much power away from the battery. Customers can either download the store app or use other smartphone solutions to interact with the Beacons, located throughout the store, to view things such as store coupons, specials, and product information. There are also, even more, location and mobile wallet services associated with Beacons. I was excited to hear that the company that manages my local shopping mall is using Beacon technology. CNBC reported that “Simon Property Group has installed about 4,800 beacons across 192 malls and shopping centers nationwide and not only does it hope Mall shoppers will welcome messages sent through the Simon App, but it also sees the beacons as a service for existing retailers in the mall who can integrate their apps and message shoppers through it as well.”
RFID: The ability to use your smartphone to find out information about a product at a store, by tapping or swiping your phone on a photo or object, is called RFID (Radio-frequency identification). RFID technology on your phone can interact with RFID tags placed on products or within the store. Mashable reported that Target used RFID badges as virtual shopping carts in their 16,000 square food pop-up shop in New York City. When the customer arrived at the checkout, the products tagged by the badge were waiting for them! The Samsung Insights blog also shared this example: “Zatar and Samsung are illustrating how retailers can create an engaging customer experience by affixing RFID tags within labels on wine bottles. When a customer carries a RFID-tagged wine bottle past a dedicated reader, the tag prompts a nearby digital sign to serve up customer reviews, merchandise details and even food pairings”.
RFID also enables mobile payments using smartphones. I recently purchased a Samsung S6 Active, so I was interested in learning more about Samsung Pay, which uses “ (NFC) technology and the latest Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology to ensure quick, efficient and secure mobile payment transactions.”
SMART DIGITAL DISPLAYS: Smart digital displays use Beacon, RFID and Bluetooth enabled smartphone technology to customize in-store experiences. The future will move beyond customers interacting product information printed on paper and decorative photos to smart interactive displays that provide personalized shopping information when connected to smartphones. Time magazine listed some of the innovative smart displays such as Bloomingdales Go-To Clothing Window, Rebecca Minkoff’s Interactive Dressing Room, Samsung’s Virtual Fitting Room and even an Angry Birds Shopping Experience using VR Goggles!
What shopping technology interests you?