Saturday, February 25, 2012

Some digital (retail) trends for 2012

It is nice to watch trends and to extrapolate that to other branches or just to get inspiration. Good to see that almost every trend can be combined with social media. This once again shows the importance of social media.

Trendhunter's annual trend video is always nice to watch:



Some highlights of their video:

Digital eating

Trend to order via ipads or digital devices build in tables or other digital devices that make into restaurants.

Related idea's:
  • Custom build apps to order, to get details from people who order in your restaurant, so you can do follow up communication and stay engaged with your customers.
  • Show them interactive offers while they are sitting at your tables.
  • Cross and upsell while they sit. If they ordered something spicey, they probably like to have something to cool as well..if it is 30 degrees outside, show them an ice cream offer...etc.
  • Add value by let people use internet at the table
  • Let people sent messages to other tables (flirt tables)
  • Let people make their own food. So not only standard menu's but also let them
  • make their own digital meal that will be cooked then by the restaurant.
  • Play games at the tables. Easy to make an interactive game (pool or table tennis)
  • It is easy to make a button "call waiter" at the interactive table. Service!
  • If you have a clothes shop, make interactive tables to show product details or for service reasons.
  • Let people customize their own product via an interactive table
  • Robot cooks or robot restaurants that can be activated by a digital table (already saw this in Bangkok and Japan but also there is one in China now)
  • Improvement of internal communication inside businesses a table with the intranet at the coffee table or restaurant.
  • Fun: Make digital cup holders and when the waitress arrives, move the cup holders so people can make room :)
  • Festival's: digital playlists, interactive points
  • Great also to offer ipads as an inflight entertainment system for airlines.
Some more examples of digital tables (and a manufacturer) can be found here
Of course also vending machines will get an interactive experience.




Pop culture vacations


Batman, hello kitty or james bond hotel's


Theme vacations, special rooms based on events or movies. Like a James Bond Hotel, Hello Kitty Hotel.
Sleep in the batcave, or in a Hello Kitty house.
By making the vacation or night away special, you add value.

Related ideas:
  • Combine this with an interactive experience. Connect both online and offline worlds. Let people sent invitations for this room in an interactive way to their friends who they might want to go on holiday with.
  • Combine the themed hotels with transportation and offer e.g. "batman packages".
  • Lot's of contact moments can be found with these concepts. 
  • But also make special interactive experiences in the room that can be shared online
  • Make rooms connected to the news. New movies, strange idea's (earthquake room, star wars room) etc.
  • Special custom made rooms for congresses and seminars. Rooms that each time can be altered easily but have the same interactive experiences.
Renovated tradtion

Back to the past in a modern way in the retail. Attract customers with items and experiences from the past.
  • Think of pop up coffeeshops in your store.
  • Children's stores can attract the parents with things from their youth. If a commodore 64 computer is in a toy store, I bet many parents (especially dad's) will take a look..
  • Rebranded clothes with old -long gone- brand names

Make your store an experience and people will come and shop! Important: don't be to traditional, combine it with an online contact strategy.

Finnair painted a plane in the 1950's style


Combine the past with the present. Newsletter request at Lego store . Ok there should be  a QR code there, but the idea is nice.

Virtual Fashion

Design clothes with your online identity. It start's getting more important to people.

Related ideas:

You can use it everywhere.

  • For bakery's: let people create their own twitter account in a cookie. Nice to give away! 
  • For airlines: let people share their online account at their luggage tag.
  • For online stores make wrapping paper with Facebook content or a Facebook address. 
  • For automotive: let people make their cars personally by using their online identity. Both inside and outside the car. 
  • For advertising: use of online identity in publishing campaigns (already possible in some bus stops)
  • Don't forget these things will be shared enormously. Do it right and you get as a company also a lot of information from your customers! Use that info!


Not completely related as it is more about the future of virtual fashion, but a nice video from Microsoft's connect in fashion.

Interactive out of home

Be creative in outdoor advertising!

Think of interactive couches, interactive billboards or just put some products at the street.
Already now it is possible to do facial recognition and show and to make a gender specific campaign.

That combined with RFID in products, such as cellphones can show narrowcast personalised advertising
give interactive advice through billboards, by voice recognition or touch screens.
show different content at day or at night. Make it possible to shop in your store even when you are closed by using digital technology.

McDonalds interactive billboard in Stockholm is a nice example. They used a billboard to get more people inside the local McDonalds. Nice to get information about customers and to get them to your store!




More about mobile phones that turn into a game controller here.

Of course a simular project can be used for every retail store even if you don't use a billboard you can use a small tv in your shopping window to get the same effect.
Think not only of games but also about selling online when your shop is closed or let people download information.
Next trend, interactive shopping windows! In Japan they are already seen a lot! Nice example in Paris also.

This spy tech billboard really get's your attention!

When you are walking in the subway in Seoel, you are treated like a celebrity with this interactive billboard while running a Nikon advertising campaign. Lot's of pictures are taken from you!



Social fitness

Fitness and social media have merged. Sports and social media have merged. Compete against friends or athletes.
I think known for everybody now. But this can be used with all kind of sports and activities. Ski resorts now let you compete against competitors from all over the world. The fastes descent, who rided the most in a day. All done via apps in cell phones.
Local sports organisations can develop interactive apps to make sporting more fun.
When you are gardening, compete with others to grow the largest flowers
When you are driving a route, show others with the same destination as well, so you can optimize your route.

Instant entrepeneurship


Entrepreneurship will be teached in much younger ages to younger people, by use of video games, crowd funding, crowd sourcing etc.
Everybody can work together, create logo's with total strangers, sell stuff to other part's of the world. A real nice trend that can help also undeveloped countries by getting more entrepreneurship and to professionalise quicker.

Digital Decor

Make your workspace or living space interactive and digital. Just like outdoor advertising and billboards, your home can be interactive as well.

And because I always focus at the continent where it is happening now, some trends for Asia:



More idea's at trendhunter! The world will see so much more fun things the coming years!



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