There is rarely a day that goes by without the retail industry being in the headlines. Take this week. We have already seen news that UK retailers have experienced the worst July on record or how M&S will take on online shopping with a 50% stake in Ocado. This just shows us how the retail industry is in a continued state of unprecedented disruption.
However, rather than simply viewing it as disruption, many rightly see it as a chance for reinvention. We are seeing shops closing down and foot traffic has changed but, we are also seeing the likes of Amazon trebling its cashier-free “grab and go stores”. I mentioned this in a previous blog but, ultimately, the key to success is innovation. And then being able to create something special for customers both in-store and online.
And things just got a bit more exciting on that front with Adobe’s announcement last month of Project Glasswing. This is an experimental prototype that blends the digital and physical worlds. The transparent display that sits in front of shelved products will be able to overlay interactive graphics and videos that inform and entertain – merging the content we’re used to online with the in-store experience. Adobe gave the example of a museum exhibit with a rare artefact being able to be displayed in a glass case that allows a clear view of the encased item with added overlaying graphics offering information about its history.
Adobe’s blog mentions the fact that “We are now entering an exciting new era of interactive breakthrough experiences where the physical and digital worlds are blending and bringing immersive content in 3D, AR and beyond to the real world.” This is true and it will be interesting to see which brands adopt this technology to deliver a next generation experience for its customers.
We are now entering an exciting new era of interactive breakthrough experiences where the physical and digital worlds are blending and bringing immersive content in 3D, AR and beyond to the real world