Retail & Business Technology - Part 1

‘The doctor will see you now - online’

With the rapid changes and innovation in technology and social media, society is changing as well. In business you need to understand how best to use it, or be left behind. You don’t need to be a tech guru, but you have to have a basic understanding of how your business can use technology as a tool that will lift you above your competitors.

Have a think how emerging technology could benefit your business - look at some of these examples to stimulate your thinking.

Medical services:

In the USA you can log into an internet site run by ‘Nowclinic Online Care’ a subsidiary of United Health Care Group. You can talk to a physician via instant messaging or by phone. The service provides 24/7 care and has now exploded from one state to 22 states. Obviously many cases will need hands-on treatment but initial contact is far quicker and easier.

Multi tasking:

Every day a large percentage of people multitask when watching TV. 66% using laptop or desktop, 46% tablets and 49% web enabled phones, 60% of these people are looking at content – 38% related to what they are watching; 36% looking up info on a TV commercial; 32% reading news; 32% playing games online; 24% doing homework or work. These are staggering percentages sourced from Yahoo!7. Add to these people who are communicating with friends, voting for singers on ‘The Voice’ for example or purchasing tickets, products etc. online. You begin to see the incredible interaction potential for your business advertisements, and how essential it is to get your website working for you.

Newspapers - now a 3D experience:

News Limited launched in their printed Sydney newspapers animated 3D technology called ‘augmented reality’.

With a free App, readers are able to activate exclusive content and images that will burst from the printed page! Simply by holding the smartphone over selected icons you can view video clips etc. imagine the travel section showing panoramic views of Lake Como in Italy or magnificent Lord Howe Island.

Already available in ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ is the app you can use to download recipes, patterns, video instructions etc. straight from the printed page via your smartphone.

Direct cheque banking:

Chase bank in the US is now advertising that you can use your smartphone to bank cheques – simply take a photo and bank it online!

World’s smallest store?

Ikea is innovating again. They have put an entire Ikea store into a small 10.5cm x 8.8cm web banner.

Ikea is better known for their oversized retail spaces, however has put 2,800 products into this banner – when shoppers hover their mouse over it they can browse by department, choose and buy online, much like a standard website. The banners target people looking for studio flats, units or small apartments and are placed in the real estate section of community websites.

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of "Win In Business", speaker and business consultant.

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