A Decade of Retail Innovation: InContext Turns 10!

It's amazing how much can change in 10 years. Remember the year 2009, before we had Instagram, streaming video services, or Uber? There was no asking Alexa the weather, or listening to podcasts from your phone on the way to work. Yet it was that year that innovation in retail took a huge step forward, with the launch of virtual reality concept testing from a company called InContext Solutions. 

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Missed us at CES 2019? Here’s a taste of what went down.

The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the largest, most influential, and most anticipated technology events in the world. Among the robots, flying cars and meatless hamburgers, CES 2019 also showcased the best and most innovative in retail technology within the High Tech Retailing Summit. So of course InContext was pumped to join in the fun.

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Looking Back: How Tech Influenced Retail in 2018

With each day that passes, exciting technologies are creating disruption in the world we live in. As they say, the rate of technological innovation grows exponentially, and we’ve seen the proof of that in how many things have changed just in the past decade. What used to seem like science fiction—such as smart watches, virtual reality experiences, or autonomous vehicles —are now part of our reality.

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Reaching “Iterative Efficiency” in Physical Retail

People like shopping in stores. By most accounts, the vast majority of all retail sales will still be done in physical stores in the year 2025. But, retail will most likely function differently than it has in the past. In some ways, brick and mortar will be like an extension of online, and vice versa—digital will be key to both online and in-store experiences. Retailers like Walmart are already making online ordering available in-store to shoppers, frictionless checkout is gaining steam and augmented reality is already starting to change the way people shop for large household items.

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4 Smart Ways to Use VR for Retail Planning Today

There’s a heck of a lot that goes into the thought process of managing a category, or planning a product roll-out, or designing new marketing messaging for a brand. At least, there should be. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for these types of in-store decisions to be made based on guesses, or by simply assuming that a change to the shelf will lead to an increase in sales (hint, it usually doesn’t.)   

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Why VR for Retail Insights?

We know that some of the bigger up-and-coming retail trends are all about leveraging technology to create new and exciting customer experiences. And while some of that technology is consumer-facing—such as augmented reality shopping apps—there are other areas where retailers and brands are creating more streamlined and efficient workflows behind the scenes, using cutting edge innovation. 

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So, Your Retail Partners Want to See Ideas Before They Actually Exist? VR Can Do That.

In today's retail industry, disruptive players such as Brandless, HelloFresh and Dollar Shave Club are forcing traditional brands and retailers to completely transform in order to stay competitive in the modern world. With almost every retailer looking for ways to improve customer experience and stay relevant, it’s important that the manufacturers behind the curtain adapt that same innovative mindset—or risk losing business to those who do.

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What the Top Retail Organizations are Doing Right [Hint: Data Technology]

There’s no question that a lot goes into a successful retail strategy. With a million moving parts—including marketing, store layout, product selection, pricing, and much more—it’s a challenge to keep customers engaged and keep sales growing, especially in this ever-competitive space. The best bet is to look toward those who are getting it right, and learn how they’re doing it. 

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