Monday, May 27, 2013

French Retailer Intermarché Tests Connected Glass For In Store Usage

There is a lot of hype around Google glass now that Google allowed few people to test them, like Loic Lemeur. I have seen this cool video of Sergey Brin explaining how Google Glass works.

Technologywise, for sure, Google Glass has great potential. The technology is very advanced, but there will be a long time (at least 3 years I believe, as the cost when they'll be on the market is going to be outrageous) before it may actually be available to the mass market. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see how people and companies will be able to leverage the potential of this device in order to improve people's lives.

Companies that will test and try these technologies now will get a very important advantage upon competition.

French retailer Intermarché is conducting right now some tests of connected glasses technology to see how it could be used by shoppers in store. They set up a partnership with French agency Digitas.

Here is a video showing their works.

They have identified 5 main usages:

  • Indoor GPS: It may be very interesting, even though I think that their example is a little bit too limited to show how it may improve shopper experience. I believe that this application should be connected to the grocery shopping list to save time and being more efficient.
  • Product scanning: Pretty cool, it already exists at Auchan with self scanning, even though you need a remote control to do so. But the cool thing is all the added infos you may get through it.
  • Customized promotions: I don't know about this one, because I am affraid this may be too disruptive for customers.
  • Cross and up sell: Let's be careful with this one too.
  • Easy-Check out: This is just awesome! I believe a lot in it, even though there must be a lot of control to avoid stealing.

I believe they have already thought through a lot how to use  these glasses. Here are some thoughts that crossed my mind while watching this video:

  • These applications will actually be able to be proposed to customers once the customers will own some connected glasses. Same things with smartphones, it would be too costly for a store to borrow some of theses glasses to shop, as they must keep razor thin margins.
  • It is important to create real added value, and the technology must not be too disruptive. For instance, proposing recipes when you buy a product is a cool idea, but pretty scary in terms of usage. Once marketers will use these kinds of techniques, it will scare shoppers off to use these glasses.
  • I love the payment system. Retailers may save lot of money thanks to it (as cashiers are one of their biggest expenses) and customers will save times.