Chris Kreinczes of Springwise — a network of entrepreneurs and innovators, which serves as a hub of new business ideas — has compiled a list of 10 new retail ideas he predicts “change the way you shop.” The winning concepts, which ran in Forbes earlier this year, are linked by “their desire to make the shopping experience more enjoyable,” and, according to Kreinczes, “have taken place at the heart of the product or shopping experience” — no last-minute, tacked on promotions made the list.
1. Hointer: QR codes on men’s jeans.
This men’s denim company is using QR codes, attached to a sample pair of each style of denim they carry. Customers scan the code, select their size, and procede to the dressing room, where the selected pair awaits. The theory is that men hate shopping — why make them do it?
2. Nike Mexico: Incentive as promotion
Using Nike Mexico Subasta de Kilometros on Facebook, runners earned points by logging miles on the track. Points could then be exchanged for Nike gear — a win-win for customer and company.
3. Yihaodian: Virtual Reality Stores
Yihaodian customers in China can point their smartphones at specific public spaces, like public squares, and see a virtual Yihaodian store displayed on their screen, stocked with buyable wares.
4. SuperBrugsen: Items Requests
Denmark’s SuperBrugsen supermarket now encourages customers to request local items to be stocked in their neighborhood store, all through the company website. Suggestions are taste-tested in the store, and if they pass muster, they become regular items.
5. QThru: Smartphone Shopping
Using cloud-based mobile data, the QThru app allows shoppers to scan items as they load their carts, and pay (with pre-loaded credit card information) instantly, using QThru mobile kiosks.
6. C&A: Facebook Integration
Brazilian fashion retailer C&A now displays the number of Facebook ‘likes’ any garment has received on tiny screens, embedded in the item’s hangers. Approval from the online world, the company figured, could incentivize shoppers to buy.
7. DipJar: Tipping with Credit Cards
Many the cashless customer has forgotten to tip their barista, but with the DipJar, customers simply dip their card — one dollar is deposited per dip.
8. Selfridges: No Noise Campaign
Hoping to combat shopping fatigue, the UK department store has now designated “No Noise” areas within their shops, where customers are asked to surrender their phones, remove their shoes, and relax among de-branded products.
9. COCO-MAT: Try Before You Buy
Bed store COCO-MAT ran a campaign encouraging customers to take naps on their beds before purchase, sometimes for several hours. Salespeople delivered free glasses of orange juice to relaxing customers, who were by no means obligated to buy.
10. Memove: RFID Stock Tracking
Brazilian retailed Memove has implemented RFID stock tracking tech that makes it easy for salespeople to track and retrieve stock, right from the sales floor. No more hunting for colors or sizes — the technology tells employees whether an item is in stock, and exactly where it is.