Retail & Business Technology - Part 3

Let these innovations set your mind going in your business

My skull is ringing!!
Nokia is seeking a patent for tattoos that vibrate to let people know they have calls on their mobile phones. The technology would enable tattoos to receive magnetic waves emitted by mobiles. These tattoos would generate a ‘perceivable stimulus’ to alert people to calls, messages or batteries running low.

Virtual store - no product!
Woolworths has leased a small area - wall space really, to display barcoded photos of their 120 best selling products. Busy commuters scan the barcodes with their smartphones, add the delivery fee and address so the products are delivered straight to their homes. Product prices are generally higher than store items and delivery is extra, but customers are happy to pay for the convenience.

iPad menu
This is one I have spoken about before which deserves another mention. A restaurant in North Sydney uses iPads for menus. Customers are able to browse their full range with description of ingredients, cooking methods, photos and prices. Anyone could do it - yes, but they were the first - they were the ones who got free publicity in the newspaper reviews etc.

Google Earth
Companies are starting to use Google Earth to target potential customers. They can determine who has a swimming pool, the yard size & shape for landscaping jobs, roofs and guttering can be seen, driveways, mowing or if there are items like tennis courts or fences. This helps target more specific customers and eliminates wasted time & money.

McDonald’s Appy meal
McDonald’s is considering introducing a mobile phone app that would enable users to order on the run. A pilot app has been tested in two stores already!

Your smart TV is watching you!
The days of fighting over the remote control may be over as a new wave of smart TVs replaces remotes with voice and gesture control. Families will be able to ditch the remote and just tell their TV to change the channel, switch on or off or play a DVD.

Smart TVs can also watch the people watching them. With facial recognition, Samsung TVs available this month will log into a viewer’s Twitter, Facebook and Skype accounts to keep them in touch with friends without leaving the couch. More of the technology used in smartphones will soon be available on TV screens (see June’s 60 second email - part 1 for statistics on multi-tasking while watching TV)

Fashion Gallery - a multi-channel approach
Many businesses who sell products online are also selling via eBay - they are using a multi-channel approach to selling in order to capture more customers. Australian brands like Supre, Marcs, Alannah Hill, Mimco and Seafolly have all joined eBay’s new dedicated ‘Fashion Gallery’. This enables eBay to work on their behalf for freight discounts and has partnered with Australia Post on a number of solutions.

Innovations in mobile technology, changing consumer behaviour and the willingness of retailers to incorporate a multi-channel sales strategy are providing significant growth opportunities.

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of ‘Win In Business’ and ‘Building your Business, your People, your Life’ and keynote speaker.

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