A question that many different retail shop owners are asking these days (and indeed, a common question among shoppers themselves) is what the “store of the future” will resemble. Will brick and mortar stores even continue to exist? Will the entire shopping scene shift to online-based operations and purchases? Or will the “store of the future” be a hybrid between the traditional brick and mortar store setup and the more modern shopping experience offered by Amazon and other online retailers?
This post has been edited since it originally appeared on VMSD.com
As online retailers continue to grow, brick and mortar clothing stores have been struggling to find ways to remain competitive against juggernauts like Amazon and eBay. These massive online retailers have access to seemingly limitless inventories of styles and colors that customers can browse at the click of a button. And, they don’t have to worry about some of the same costs such as staffing and theft. So how are top tier retail clothing stores supposed to entice shoppers to visit their stores and get the sales they need to stay in – and grow – their businesses?
The newest advance set to help reframe the retail experience is called the smart mirror.
While there are several competing models being tested across the country, a standard smart mirror functions as a combination of a mirror and video camera. The smart mirror will snap a video of a customer in an outfit and then display it as they try on different combinations letting them quickly compare looks. This lets customers decide which outfit they like best, and some smart mirrors can even let customers see how they would look in a different outfit without ever undressing.