Retail Evolution Lab unveils five must-have technologies for stores

Local retail design firm Red Design Group has unveiled a range of new in-store technologies for retailers, after partnering with AOPEN to launch the Retail Evolution Lab in Melbourne.

 

AOPEN is an innovative technology company, with operations in more than 100 companies. It partnered with Red Design Group in order to help the plight of retailers, many of which are struggling to remain competitive in the fast-moving multiplatform retail market.

 

Yesterday, the two companies launched the Retail Evolution Lab – situated in South Melbourne – to enable retailers to design, test and trial new retail technologies in a “real” in-store environment.

 

AOPEN global strategy director Stephen Borg says global online retail brands such as Asos and Amazon are “now part of a shopaholic’s everyday conversation”, and local retailers need to be aware of that.

 

“There’s no disputing that customers are demanding convenient and engaging ways to shop both online and offline,” Borg says.

 

“Yet what builds business and loyalty for retail brands on and off the web is a superior customer experience, spanning both service and shop quality, meaning that the game is certainly not over for bricks-and-mortar retailers.

 

“It’s simply evolving.”

 

Both companies insist the Retail Evolution Lab is “not about future-gazing”. All of the concepts on display will be available for retailers to purchase and use within a matter of months.

 

The companies will also be changing content, updating exhibits and adding new technology on an ongoing basis. Here’s a snapshot of the concepts currently on display:

 

App Bar

 

The App Bar concept consists of a service counter where customers can be assisted to download applications for their mobile devices.

 

Customers can download apps anywhere, but the App Bar’s specially-trained staff can help to migrate customers to online transactions if they prefer, but also provide service and advice within the store.

 

Transparent screen

 

This transparent screen, which lights up in translucent colours and graphics, is being touted as a unique way to create graphics in windows and in-store displays.

 

There are also opportunities to use the screen in place of a glass top on premium fixtures for fashion accessories and cosmetics as well as showcases for jewellery and watches.

 

Natural Selection Health & Wellness Centre

 

This is a taste of what supermarkets may look like when they install “digital ecosystems” on their fixtures to inform customers, navigate them to products and offer them solutions.

 

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The technology on display, from NuonView, consists of a uniquely shaped, narrow pelmet screen above the fixture, a touch tablet attached to the shelf, and the first prototypes of a new digital eLabel or shelf ticket.

 

The NuonView eLabels can handle normal price barcode content, promotional graphics and even full motion video for on-self branding and promotion.

 

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All the devices are controlled by a single content management system via WiFi and the internet.

 

Floor gondola – price/promotion screens

 

Instead of paper or cardboard tickets, and as a digital alternative to flip-tickets, this is a low-cost digital screen with an applied graphic surround that promotes products on special displays, such as gondola ends.

 

Gondola ends refer to the in-store selling space located at the end of a shopping aisle. Due to the increased consumer flow around gondola ends, they are often used for promotional activity or new product merchandising.

 

The floor gondola unveiled in the lab uses simple Flash animation to highlight basic information such as price, product and promotion.

 

Motion graphics can be added in to highlight savings or capture promotional themes.

 

Wall gondolas

 

The screens used on these gondola ends are called media tiles due to their thin profile and modular design. The tiles can be used singly or stacked together to form a video wall.

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