AR and VR are not the same and should be distinct in use case.QR codes are actually AR technology where computer vision can detect, decode and transform the video stream.VR is nothing more than the "TV visor/goggles" technology of personal viewing of a 3-D video game and requires the use of a micro-joystick or controller to navigate while stationary.AR has real and proven use case in mobile retailing from geo-navigating, 3D images like the Lego Store preview box and QR code augmentation of additional information in different languages.
We witness too many flops that focused more on the four Es instead of the four Ps.Amazon competes on the four Ps -- product, price, promotion and place and everything they do centers around the four Ps.
Amazon is operating in a 21st century "Platform Economy" paradigm which is a good book to read. Amazon is a platform composed of membership, logistics, cloud services and devices. Walmart has a huge manufacturing/distribution platform to source and stock in stores and online.Smaller and rival retailers need to establish a platform that can match the level of performance and scalability as Amazon and Walmart. It is not difficult and technology like distributed ledgers is promising but rival retailers have to first acknowledge this is a platform battle, not a price battle.
Amazon has a history of cannibalizing their third-party sellers. This is not a long-term win for third-party sellers as Amazon will look, long-term, to sell the popular product directly and work with the manufacturer/distributor to push the third-party seller out of the marketplace. With that said, third-party sellers should charge Amazon more to be used as a short-term resupply point.
It should be possible to capture metrics such as number of scans by a cashier or restock based on big data analysis and sensors such as RFID. In some cases computer vision can be used to detect sales floor interaction.These are methods used in sports technology to measure players' performance and track racing cars, and even social media strategy and salary contracts are tied to these metrics.I'm a strong believer that future retail technology will begin to recognize "retail talent" similar to sports talent and we will see "contracts" on brick-and-mortar retail talent. The introduction of metrics and smart sensors will inevitably bring forth a reality in which differentiating retail talent is real.
I was in Tokyo a month ago where I encountered an apparel retailer with columns of digital signage outside their store. The digital signage slideshow was actually Instagram photos with product name, price and a QR to scan at the lower-third whitespace to follow their Instagram.While this sounds simplistic, this retailer was able to generate subscribers and obtain measurable two-way social media and leverage digital assets through one channel using a simple slideshow and flat panel screens. I do not know if there is a standard but this is just one example of how retailers can be creative with digital marketing to get the best bang for the buck this holiday season.
Amazon already won the battle -- the critical mass realization hasn't caught up to the reality. The competitive advantage Amazon has is the use of voice intelligence technology that retailers lack. By bringing experiential conversations into the home of customers via Alexa, Amazon can engage in first-mover conversations with people on products and services before they even pick up their keys to venture out to retailers.
I believe BYOD policy is one of the most important decisions a retailer can make in the 21st century. The barrier and competitive disadvantage for brick-and-mortar against Amazon is that customers do not know how to use the mobile features a retailer can offer.Sales floor staff can act as ambassadors with their own personal device to show customers how to scan QR codes, how to download the store app and how to provide feedback creating a more authentic touch point to help mobilize customers. Sales floor staff can even recommend the type of mobile phone best compatible with the store.Personal BYOD can be a strong weapon and competitive advantage for retailers if they realize the advantages outweigh the FUD.
Henry Ford once said any customer can have a car painted any color they want so long as it is black. Recommendation engines will likely have people wearing the same clothes in the same social circles. A good recommendation should be good enough to find "hidden treasures" which are items no one else in the region purchases as well as disclose popular clothing and unpopular clothing with the recommendations.
It's interesting that you bring up the construction workers and the coffee truck concept as this concept has legs and may be on to something bigger. I can see this model competing with food trucks to bring condiments and QSR to office parks and under-served urban areas.It is quite possible to create a flat concrete space to which autonomous vehicles can self-drive so that on Monday a mobile c-store drives itself there, on another day a self-driving fashion truck is headed to the location and so on. There is an interesting opportunity with this concept that may be more interesting than Amazon's drone delivery model.
This is a great point about small-format grocery stores regarding the location. I grew up in a big city (Chicago) and like in New York and other big cities, small-format grocery stores thrived in mixed-used vertical residential neighborhoods and probably had 700 SKUs at most.With the re-emergence of mixed-used development, small grocery formats should be looking at mixed-used structures rather tan homestead subdivisions that have already proven a small-format failure for both Tesco and Walmart.
Tencent WeChat already have a real working model in China called BingoBox and the YouTube video demonstration is pretty impressive. My first impression is that the ice cream truck is going to be replaced by Moby Mart offering kale and trail mix. The kids will not be happy.
Best Buy's biggest missed mobile-first opportunity is during the mobile activation process. Best Buy only activates for the carrier making them a "dumb pipeline" for carriers.If Best Buy subsidized the mobile activation process within their store to provide discounts for installing the Best Buy mobile app and provided information on how to use a smartphone at Best Buy for BOPIS and how to lookup product information, they would create mobile customers at the time of activation.Why Best Buy is missing this opportunity at the activation phase escape me.
Nordstrom recently wrote down a $197 million loss on Men's Trunk Club which is the same strategy Target is now pursuing but expecting a different result.As someone who purchased a foam-based mattress that arrived in a big box brought by my mailman -- it was the most exciting experience I had purchasing a mattress (next to being scared of a mattress I bought flying off of my car onto the highway on the way home). The problem is that I purchased the foam mattress from Amazon.com with Prime membership from another manufacturer.Not one of the upstarts Target is investing in has Amazon-killer qualities and they appear to be "me-too" offerings. Amazon is investing in the product channel while Target is mistakenly chasing specific vendors.