I have just read an article about the very latest innovations in retailing including augmented reality, holographic displays, drones, robotic assistants, and something called “intelligent shelves”.
Now I am going to be a bit of a smart-ass here, but “intelligent shelves” are described as camera-ready shelves that will “read” our profile (making judgments about features, sex and ethnicity), serve up suggestions, and change detail provided about the product to suit. Apparently this new system is being tested in Singapore this month. But isn’t that what shop owners and their assistants have been doing for centuries? Don’t we “read” our customers by looking at them and then conversing with them to find out their needs?
As we have printed on this website many times – our single biggest advantage as market traders is that we can personally relate to our customers in a face to face exchange that not only works better than technological guesses but helps make shopping a pleasant experience.
Give me intelligent shopkeepers anytime.
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