CYBER MONDAY (AND HOW ONLINE RETAIL COULD OPEN HEARTS IN 2015)

3 years ago

Robert Anderson, Director, Digital Innovation

Are you planning to bag a bargain online today? If you believe the hype then it sounds like just about everyone in the UK will be searching out some online retail therapy before the clock strikes midnight. Experts predict £650m will be spent online over the course of 24 hours – hitting over £450,000 a minute.

Some consumers like shopping online, others prefer finding their discounts in a physical store (even if it involves wrestling in the supermarket over a 65 inch telly). But it’s always interesting to imagine “what’s next” for retail. I think the emerging tech to watch for in retail in 2015 is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) proximity sensing – Apple’s version of which is known as iBeacon. It basically enables a physical location or installation (for example, a shop) to track the exact position of your phone within a contained area. The retailer can then “push” to your phone very specific content, like offers or product information, when you’re standing in front of that product on the shelf.

BLE is something that’s been around for a while but hasn’t really enjoyed mainstream adoption yet, for a variety of reasons. The video above shows one way it can work. I think next year we may well see the online and offline worlds merge thanks to this type of technology. This coming together of the physical and virtual is something that brands will need to embrace as consumer habits evolve.

Anyway, Cyber Monday is just the warm up– already looking forward to “Manic Monday” 8th December, which is expected to be even busier…