A study by The Control Group reveals new details about the evolution of retail technology. As reported, retail technology "will drive significant change in the retail experience by providing more immersive, personalized and cohesive brand experiences as well as new mechanisms for capturing, measuring, and understanding consumer behaviour."

The study notes, "Brick-and-mortar retail hasn't changed drastically since the early days of the shopkeeper. It's long been an experience based around tangible goods on shelves and a clerk behind a counter. Even if wooden boxes and coins have been replaced by cash registers and credit cards, the basic process of a retail purchase has looked pretty much the same for thousands of years."

However, the study points out that technology now automates wayfinding, comparison shopping and point-of-sale transactions. Additionally, the study asserts that consumers have changed their attitudes towards privacy and expect more from the stores they patronize. Also, over half of all American shoppers shop with a smartphone in hand, and the online shopping experience has become more personalized and engaging than the offline experience, "but people still want to try on pants."

According to the study, there are seven technologies that are redefining the retail experience, and "retailers of tomorrow will need to invest in technology that brings valuable interactions and services to the customer experience and solves clearly defined business problems." These technologies are:

  1. Computer Vision and Facial Coding

  2. Touch- and Gesture-based Interaction

  3. Projection

  4. Printed Electronics

  5. Wireless Interactivity (RFID/NFC)

  6. Captive Portal / Passive Analytics

  7. Mobile Payment

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