How retailers are using technology to survive (and thrive)

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Retailers are adopting innovative technology as a core strategy to survive in the tough economic market. We have observed a number of key technological trends emerging in the retail sector that benefit retailers, landlords and consumers. This article summarises some of the innovations, and their legal risk and implications, that may help some players survive and thrive.

Emerging technologies are being employed to improve the consumer’s retail experience. These also benefit businesses through gathering and sharing data about the demographic of consumers and their buying habits. Here are some examples.

Topshop, John Lewis and other retailers are trialling ‘virtual mirrors’ at flagship stores. This technology uses built-in cameras to capture moving images of a consumer that are then superimposed with clothing over the on-screen image; consumers can ‘try on’ clothing without getting undressed. Marks & Spencer has also successfully deployed this for make-up through a ‘virtual makeover counter’. A consumer identifies a style or range of products they like and the virtual mirror suggests other complementary products the consumer may wish to purchase. Images can be shared on social media or via email. Some retailers have enabled the mirrors to double up as a kiosk enabling stock availability checks and facilitating online orders…

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