Technology innovations are happening at a rapid pace, and some of it will change the way we shop. Navigate through the store of the future to see what's coming to a retailer near you.

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Digital Signage

Digital signage shows advertising messages personalized to the shopper. Using RFID tags to identify which items they are carrying through the store or looking at past purchases, the displayed message can suggest other products the shopper might be interested in. Brands whose products are sold at a retailer can advertise on their digital signs, creating another revenue stream for the store.

Proof of concept: Walmart Smart Network
Learn more about digital signage: Wikipedia

Email receipts

Upon completing a transaction a receipt is e-mailed to the customer. This reduces waste and eliminates the cost of receipt paper. Customers prefer e-mail receipts because they don't get lost and are searchable. E-mail addresses can be used for future marketing efforts.

Proof of concept:
Cashier Live's e-mail receipts

Mobile coupons

Past customers receive personalized messages alerting them of sales or new products they might be interested in. Mobile coupons are a key driver of store traffic. Location-based services like Foursquare allow retailers to advertise based on a shopper's location.

Proof of concept:
Starbucks' Foursquare discount campaign
Target's text alerts and mobile coupons


A self-checkout kiosk rings up items via their RFID tags. This allows a store's employees to be on the floor assisting customers rather than behind a counter. Relevant promotions are shown on a monitor at the checkout. Contactless payments systems allow transactions to be completed quickly.

Proof of concept:
NCR's FastLane RFID-enabled Self Checkout
Visa's PayWave contactless payment

Purchase Orders

Purchase orders are created based on demand and electronically sent to the supplier in an instant. Automating this process saves countless hours of walking the floor and manually ordering needed products. Also eliminated is the need to stock excess inventory, reducing costs for the store. This technology will allow products to arrive just as the need emerges.

Learn more about EDI purchase orders:

Store management

Real-time reporting tools allow a storeowner or manager to quickly assess the performance of the store and make necessary adjustments. An inventory count is adjusted automatically as sales are made and shipments arrive. Sales data and accounting systems are integrated. All of these tools can be accessed anywhere via the web.

Proof of concept:
Cashier Live's reporting tools & purchase orders

Welcome kiosk

A kiosk welcomes customers as they enter the store. The display can show greetings as well as promotions and sales for that day. A large touch screen computer below allows customers to quickly search or browse the product selection.

Minority Report - Gap welcome kiosk

Virtual mirrors

Storefronts will use augmented reality technology to entice shoppers. Interactive ads will allow you to "try on" something before you even walk into the store. This technology will also be utilized throughout the store, complete with software that helps identify products that the shopper may be interested in.

Proof of concept:
Ray-Ban's virtual mirror
Tissot's virtual watch shopping


RFID tags help target display advertising when products are moved throughout the store. The tags also help speed up the checkout process and automate inventory counts. Manufacturers and wholesalers utilize this data to make their supply chain more efficient, only producing and ordering products as needed.

Learn more:
Has P&G Discovered RFID's ROI Proof?
New RFID Tag Could Mean the End of Bar Codes
Alien Technology RFID Tags