Instead of a simple booth and product demos, they built what felt much more like a store – helped along in that the “store” was for a real retail banner, Montreal’s LXR & Co. The store was an effective way to show how interactive, one to one tech could be applied in the full context of a retail environment.
The nicely orchestrated demo for the luxury vintage handbag and accessories retailer, which is adding bricks and mortar to its online business, involved a native iOS app (Android coming) developed to that store, that listened for and worked with Estimote’s Bluetooth Low Energy beacons mounted in Armodilo enclosures at featured merchandise areas.
The iPad screens would recognize the handset owner from their having opted into a loyalty program built by Thirdshelf, and pop their images and preferences on a screen. So the shopping experience gets a lot more personalized, but at a one-to-one level on small screens. The loyalty part of the program was or will be mapped to POS data, so shoppers and sales associates have a grip on purchase history and style preferences.
A wrinkle I liked were iPad minis on lanyards that store staff could walk around with, that informed them who was in the store, and provided their background and loyalty status.
This was all demo stuff. The company has operating beta sites with some retailer,but nothing is rolled out yet. I saw some breathless tweets and written passages about this being the future of retail. I think that’s a reach, but in the right environment I could certainly see the application and appeal.
I’d LOVE to see a wireless retailers have something like this, so that when customers walked in there was ready information about their current plan, account status, renewal date, usage patterns and so on. It would speed up selections, activations and renewals.