News / Science & Technology

Retailers Eye New Technology to Lure Customers

Bernard Shusman
The definition of modern retailing is evolving as retailers look at using new technology to help lure more customers. New York’s Convention center was the site of the 103rd National Retail Federation expo, where some of the latest innovations were center stage.
 
It’s called the Big Show for a reason. Thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of prospective customers came, all seeking that one thing that will give them an edge.
 
With new technology, every screen and surface becomes an opportunity to engage with customers. Images can be shared so friends and family can weigh in. Even the dressing room mirror becomes a vehicle for sales. Intel's Tyler Hoffman discussed one of his company’s displayed products: the "Memory Mirror."
 
“It is designed for trying on clothes, shopping for apparel in store, [to] make that experience digital, social and interactive,” said Hoffman.
 
The mirror captures a 10-second clip of a customer trying something on; when they try on a second outfit, the mirror recognizes them and captures that as well. Afterwards, customers are able to review their previous try-ons in front of the mirror.
 
The images can also be shared via text, email or social media.
 
A motion-activated screen by Scala lets prospective customers swipe through watches with a wave of a hand, using technology to get closer to the product.
 
Peter Cheran, the chief technical officer of Scala, said the product offers something new.
 
"It’s novel, it’s fresh, it’s engaging, it’s easy to use. It’s what people are expecting out of technologies from their video games, from their smartphone. It creates a novel experience,” said Cheran.
 
Jerrard Shiffman, the inventor of the Perch interactive system, pointed out that every surface in a shop offers the owner a chance to display information.
 
“Over the entire store, every surface can become a platform for media display.  Because the way that people consume media now, it’s on their iPhone, they’re sort of surrounded by it, it’s sort of strange in retail stores that hasn’t happened yet. It’s not a media experience,” said Shiffman.
 
Ryan, the owner of a surf shop, likes the concept.
 
"I can see a customer coming up. It’s definitely engaging, you… see the imagery and all that… It feels like you are working with a 3D smartphone almost," said Ryan.
 
Even the old-fashioned scale’s surface has changed. The Tellermate counts a stack of money by its weight. In tests, it was never incorrect and took only a second or two do its job. It saves time, which equals money.
 
The international retail landscape is expected to change more in the next 10 years then it has in the past 50 years, due largely to new technologies and the internet.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs