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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Augmented Reality Is Shaping the Future of Retail

What’s the future of retail, and how far away is it? Turns out that in the next couple of years, customers will be able to try on clothes and products at home with no shipping required. Technology will allow shoppers to virtually wear garments — smelling, hearing and feeling the fabric as if it were real.

Sound crazy? It’s not, when you look deeply into the world of augmented reality (AR). Augmented reality technology typically overlays the virtual world on top of the real-world environment through a device, such as a mobile phone or a tablet. But certain companies are redefining the bounds of virtual reality experiences by home-growing their own unique AR technologies and platforms.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Here’s How Apple Makes You Fall in Love with Its MacBooks

Steve Jobs was meticulous in designing Apple’s iDevices, so it makes sense that tremendous thought went into designing the stores in which those devices are sold.

The clean and modern interior of Apple stores may be the perfect canvas to display the company’s shiny gadgets and entice consumers into making a spendy purchase. It’s aesthetically pleasing, sure — but there’s also a deeper concept behind the way the stores are laid out (Hint: Even the tilt of the laptop screens is intended to coerce you into trying one).

According to author Carmine Gallo, who spent a year researching the Apple store experience, laptop screens are tilted back about 70 degrees so customers have to adjust them, thereby getting shoppers to touch and test out the computers. Smart idea, right?

Apple is all about creating an interactive experience for its consumers, he writes. Rather than a “Buy, Buy, Buy” mentality, the concept is simple: let consumers test the devices with Internet and apps, don’t pressure them to leave and instill a sense of ownership by asking permission to touch an owner’s device before the associate shows them a certain function.

“Apple discovered that by creating an ownership experience, customers would be more loyal to the brand,” Gallo writes.

Compare the Apple store experience to other gadget retailers and the other big box stores simply don’t match up in terms of customer experience.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6 Hot Trends Driving Men's Ecommerce

When it comes to ecommerce categories like grooming and fashion, the women’s market has long been the focus of marketers. And who can blame them. Women historically make upwards of 80% of the purchase decisions in the home, they’re statistically more active online, and tend to maintain longer session times on websites. Plus, they’re natural ‘window shoppers’ — in the physical and virtual world.

That said, in the past year, the men’s ecommerce market has seen more than a half dozen ecommerce launches, including Mr. Porter, Birchbox Man, and Dollar Shave Club. Here are the six major trends driving this growth.