I’ve just finished a book by PSFK consulting called Future of Retail. (I strongly encourage you to follow them on Twitter; @psfk. Inspiring material.)

The book is a nice tour through all of the technologies/behaviors/trends that’re impacting retail. Instead of reviewing each trend I thought it would be better to list the examples they sited and let you extrapolate (word of the day!) how you could use the technology/behavior/trend.

  1. Frog Design believes that pretty soon every object is connected to the Internet. They’re calling the concept ThingBook. I posted a video showing what the concept (not from the Froggers) may look like here. I’ve also posted about social augmented reality and love the concept.
  2. Point Inside is an app that maps the insides of malls. This is a good step in the direction of location today, product tomorrow.
  3. Google Places let’s users see inside the store before they get there. (I love this example of where this experience could go.)
  4. NearbyNow provides gift recommendations vai their app across multiple stores in “one mall”.
  5. Preloaded iPhones are handed out to guests who stay at the Hyatt in Kyoto Japan, during the flower viewing season, to help them find the best spots. This is what the iPhone is best at; helping your customers experience your brand.
  6. Mercedes has handed out iPads to help sales people in the car buying process. A “no brainer”.
  7. Global Mundo Tapas a restaurant in Sydney uses iPads for there menu. Think of the upsell potential and helping people try new things. Wait till you can smell things through the iPad! <joke>
  8. Trunk Club allows men to try on new clothes at home. Each member is assigned a style expert who mails them apparel after an initial web cam consultation.
  9. Audi in the UK will allow you to to watch your car being repaired. (I’m sure the mechanics LOVE this!!!) The mechanic wears a “head cam” and a two way radio so people watching at home can tell them; “You’re doing it wrong!”  and “I don’t NEED new blinker fluid!”. Over and over and over and over . . . .
  10. Lost and Found has hotel room in Melbourne that is entirely furnished with local products. Another great element in going hyper-local.
  11. Diesel has an in-store camera/kiosk that’s connected to Facebook, allowing people to try things on and then ask their friends what they think. Great example of on type of social commerce.
  12. Made.com allows groups of customers connect directly with the designers to vote on what they want them to build. Crowdsourced shopping/designing. Sounds like Karmaloop.

There are a lot more great examples. The book is definitely worth picking up and If you tell them I sent you; it won’t help you at all.