Brick-and-mortar retailers have struggled for years to combat the loss of sales to eCommerce. Online marketplaces such as Ebay and Amazon altered the retail landscape for good in the 1990’s. And in 2014, brands are facing challenges from mobile shopping and social media networks that expound the online problem.

As a result of such disruption, retail brands across the United States are investing in technology to improve physical shopping experiences. In a survey conducted by branding agency Jack Morton Worldwide, “80% of customers are more willing to shop in-store if a brand offers a memorable experience.”

To increase foot traffic to brick-and-mortar retail locations, brands must take advantage of the technologies reshaping our world. Mobile companion apps, RFID chips in clothing, and even facial scanning technology can make traditional window shopping feel like a futuristic experience.

Burberry Places RFID Chips in Clothes

When Burberry’s former CEO Angela Ahrendts left to head Apple’s retail operations, it became clear that the company known for its trenchcoats has a tech-savvy spirit. Nothing Jack Morton Worldwide affirms this stance more than the experimentation going on in Burberry locations.

Customers inside a Burberry store can, “stand before an RFID-enabled mirror and see the coat’s biography, beginning with the roll of fabric.” Referred to as ‘The Store of the Future’, Burberry’s flagship store in London features ‘magical trays’ that customers can place an iconic bag and learn about its creation from a connected display.

The current CEO, who is also their former Creative Director, stated that, “people are interested in how it was created and the values that surround it… people want the soul in things.” Incorporating hybrid experiences that bridge traditional shopping and eCommerce will be central to retail success.

Sephora Purchases In-Store Software Developer Scentsa

Sephora plans to utilize the talent at Scentsa to produce additional in-store technologies down the road. Scentsa is a company that focuses specifically on perfume recommendations to accompany specific products. If a shopper picks up a certain item, Scentsa’s database and algorithm match perfume choices to specific jewelry, clothing, or accessories.

Customers can interact with a touch screen kiosk, scan potential products, and receive personalized suggestions. Sephora CMO, Julie Bornstein, said tshey acquired Scentsa to, “keep the tech from winding up in the hands of competitors and to develop new in-store products more rapidly.”

Nordstrom Brings Online Tracking to Brick-and-Mortars

After partnering with RetailNext, a company offering in-store analytics software, Nordstrom implemented shopper tracking in specific test locations. RetailNext offers a service that analyzes CCTV footage to better understand the way shoppers browse through aisles and interact with displays. Various metrics such as how many shoppers turn left or right at the end of an aisle, may seem insignificant but marketers and designers can use such data to optimize store layouts.

RetailNext’s software application used by Nordstrom can assess camera footage to determine sex, behavior, and mood. Additional features include analysis of smartphone signals and mobile apps used by shoppers. With such data in hand, they can assess how long a shopper browses a specific aisle, or stands and inspects a specific product.

Baked By Melissa and Mobile Tracking for Window Displays

In order to better assess the design and layout of window displays, Baked By Melissa is turning to mobile tracking technology. Using the bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals from passerby smartphones, the store manager can accurately measure “window-conversion rates”. The service provided by in-store technology company Nomi, can use radio signals from smartphones to determine user location by up to 1 meter. With the technology in place, Baked By Melissa can “run A/B tests on its window displays”.

Nomi’s technology can even assess whether or not individuals are repeat customers or first-timers. Through an intuitively designed software application business users can assess the information and incorporate findings into existing strategies. There are also options for integrating with Groupon or other local deal campaigns to assess the impact of such campaigns.

In-Stores Shopping Technology

Now that consumers are spending more than four hours and thirty minutes per day interacting with digital technology, retail locations must offer technology infused shopping experiences. With attention spans dwindling at a rapid pace, brands must offer innovative in-store experiences to prevent show-rooming and increase brick-and-mortar profits.