CES 2015: From Robots to Beacons, the Future of Retail is at Hand


New research from Deloitte indicates that digital technologies now markedly impact up to 50 percent ($1.5 trillion) of in-store sales. But despite these statistics, a divide separates shoppers’ digital needs and wants from what experiences retailers can provide.

At CES 2015 this week in Las Vegas—and ahead of next week’s National Retail Federation Big Show in New York—technologists and marketers are hoping to close this gap.

Some of the CES exhibitors pitching their vision of the omnichannel, personalized shopping experience—and how to better engage shoppers online, on mobile and in stores:[more]

Lowe’s: OSHBOT, the first-ever retail robot built and developed by Fellow Robots in partnership with Lowe’s Innovation Labs (creator of the virtual holodeck-like augmented reality showroom) has been making the rounds at CES this week.

As Ad Age reports, Lowe’s has been testing these $50K multilingual, Nick Offerman-approved retail service robots at California’s Orchard Supply Hardware store—hence the robot’s OSHBOT moniker.

FaceCake: FaceCake, the marketing technology company that’s been a trend-setter in virtual dressing room designs, is showing CES attendees an innovative set of mobile and web-accessible additions to its real-time Augmented Retail platform at CES. The aim is to entice shoppers to find and virtually try on products, share them with friends, take selfies, receive personalized recommendations—and, of course, purchase with ease.

Skipstone: Skipstone, calling itself the first video technology platform that forms a bridge of two-way communication between brands and consumers, is exhibiting at CES as well. Founders Troy Ontko and David Ernst want to simplify the process of researching and selecting products.

Beacons: As CNET reports from CES, beacons have been heralded as changing the future of retail. New technologies on display at the show include beacons that can capture door openings and closings, temperature sensors that can show different degrees in different parts of a building and lighting sensors can indicate the brightness of an area. As proximity marketing takes off, brands are testing beacons to help them send targeted, context-based messages and videos to shoppers based on their in-store location.

Panasonic: Panasonic’s Retail Zone at CES showcases the tech company’s offerings for supermarkets, restaurants and shopping environments, from digital signage, projection solutions and security cameras to customer kiosks, next-generation shelving solutions and video analytics.

“Although brick and mortar shopping is still the dominant format, e-commerce growth is outpacing in-store growth by nearly five to one,” said Rick Albert, VP of Panasonic System Communications Company of North America.

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