Shoppers Primed for New Kinds of Shopping Experience

May 16, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Data-driven | Personalization | Retail & E-Commerce | Technology

Biometric fingerprint payments, intelligent shopping carts, holographic sales assistance, and interactive dressing rooms are among the top shopping-experience innovations foreseen by shoppers, finds a TNS Retail Forward study.

The “New Future In Store” study is base on a Feb. ’08 online survey of 4,600 shoppers across eight countries in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the US.

Shopping via social networking websites and consumer participation in product development are already in use today; they are the most likely to be in widespread use in the future, the study found.


Some findings regarding the 12 innovations covered in the study (reg. req’d):

Biometric Payment – Fingerprinting

A shopper can pay for purchases by placing his/her finger on a sensor that reads its fingerprint, linking it to the shopper’s bank account or credit card to record the purchase:

  • 60% of shoppers globally say that they will be able to use biometric payment fingerprinting by 2015.
  • The payment method was rated as having “high appeal” by 41% of consumers and was the No. 1 favorite of 25%.
  • 60% of Chinese shoppers liked it, but only 24% of Germans and just 19% of US shoppers voted for it as their favorite.

Smart Carts

Interactive, intelligent shopping carts have a video screen that consumers can use to locate products, access shopping lists, check prices, receive promotions/coupons, and scan purchases.

US consumers like the idea of smart carts – 28% rank it as having the highest appeal vs. 19% of all shoppers and just 9% of shoppers in France and Germany.

Interactive Dressing Rooms

A high-resolution digital “mirror” uses a camera to relay live video and project holographic images of clothing items, so customers can see how they will look in an outfit without trying it on – about half of respondents said that interactive dressing room mirrors will eliminate the stress of trying on a new outfit.

Digital touch screens will allow shoppers to communicate with sales personnel without leaving the dressing room – 73% of shoppers globally say they expect to be using them by 2015, but 23% say they would be very likely to use them.

3D Body Scanning

A 3D scan of a shopper’s body is used to make recommendations about the brands and specific clothes most likely to fit well, or to help fit custom-made clothes; the technology was found to be most popular among Germans (21%) compared with all shoppers (12%).

Other Innovations:

  • Sales and product information sent via SMS to mobile phones (based on location)
  • Placing orders and arranging delivery with a mobile device
  • Holographic sales assistant (appealing to 59% of Chinese shoppers)
  • Group buying (online collaborative shopping communities)
  • Self-activated shopping agents (e.g., a “networked” refrigerator that can order groceries)
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