Posted on March 26 by Sarah Cheng
In the last ten years, technology has unexpectedly disrupted conventional industries and traditional business models. Retail is no exception to this change. The consumer experience in brick-and-mortar stores has been transformed by the presence of technology, from flat-screen advertisements to i-pad registers. Are these new technological advancements friend or foe to the retail industry? Moreover, has technology revolutionized how we do business in this modern age?
The juxtaposition of fashion and technology can seem strangely natural when executed in an artistic manner. Retailers have embraced the benefits of this change for their business. Stuart Weitzman exhibits its new collection and most recent runway show.
Hashtags have become ubiquitous in retail advertisements. Although they’ve emerged in pop culture fairly recently, retailers view them as a marketing opportunity. This new trend is a sign of the powerful and lasting influence of technology.
Pedestrians often see two screens when they pass by a window display – the storefront window and a flat screen behind it. Does a second screen cut through the noise and connect to the customer, or does its novelty and glamour distract us from the real product?
The next step in this technology evolution is consumer interaction: retailers want consumers to engage and interact with technology inside their stores. However, technology can place distance between the consumer and the product.
The technological disruption has gone beyond the consumer experience and infiltrated the boardroom. Innovations such as fiber-optic Internet and teleconference lines enable the business world to connect easily to the outside world, opening new portals of exchange.
These screens are meant to extend the realm of business possibilities. Yet there’s still much we don’t know about technology, though it’s all around us. This new source of information and sense of clarity may only be an illusion.
Photography and Text by Sarah Cheng
About the Author: Sarah Cheng is a recent graduate of the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and is currently a consultant at Bain & Company, New York.