Our Top 17 Retail Innovation Moments of 2017

Posted by Gina Joseph on November 30, 2017

Unfocused background of Shopping mall.jpegIt's been a pivotal year for the world of retail. 

Sure, you can argue that the retail space has been transforming and changing for quite some time now—clearly the internet and e-commerce turned what we knew about retail for decades completely on its head. After social media came along and flipped it around a few times more, it evolved into a confusing state for brick-and-mortar stores, as they felt pressure to compete with the digital commerce space. But this year, Amazon shifted the trajectory of retail once again. An online behemoth integrating into brick and mortar grocery? Unheard of.

Today, commerce is no longer easily bucketed into either a physical or digital space—retailing is all-encompassing, reaching the customer where ever they may be, whether it's through a phone, on a computer, in a store, or in a completely new virtual dimension altogether. 

They say you have to study the past to understand the future. As technology continues to create new ways of reaching shoppers, engaging them, and establishing long-lasting customers, we decided to take a look back at some of the ways InContext has been involved in the conversation, helping brands and retailers keep a leg up on the new "normal" of commerce, and helping us all understand what lies ahead.

1.jpg When AI & VR Collide: The New Frontier of Retail
Artificial intelligence has been all the rage in 2017, and this is only the beginning. The technology is changing the way we live, with machines that are programmed to independently sense, reason, and learn in order to push the boundaries of many different industries. Intel is at the forefront of AI technology, and we are working with the company on ways to advance virtual reality visualizations through the use of machine learning.

2.jpg  The Retail Innovation Challenge: Change Agents and Virtual Reality’s Retail ROI
How do we drive sustainability in retail’s new norm? We explored the data and reasoning behind why companies are choosing virtual reality simulations to help them improve their go-to-market strategies. The fact is, leveraging VR for innovation is also helping brands show true return on investment when it comes to launching new and exciting in-store concepts. 

3.jpg Elon Musk Is Right, Artificial Intelligence is Growing Like Crazy
What are some of the biggest technology revelations this year? Inc.com asked tech company execs what their picks would be, including our own Mark Hardy. The list includes VR, Fintech, and, needless to say, AI.   

4-1.jpg 5 Ways Immersive VR Helps You Win at Retail
Immersive virtual reality brings the viewer inside a hyper-realistic simulated environment that they can walk around in and interact with. Immersive VR has been used in myriad ways, from gaming, to real estate. In retail, it's used as a innovative collaboration and presentation tool. We put together 5 real-world case studies that focus on the ways brands are using our immersive technology to become forward-thinking leaders in the space.

5-1.jpg  Amazon, Whole Foods, and the Future of Brick and Mortar
As if Amazon wasn't already the talk of the town, this summer the company announced it's acquisition of Whole Foods. The news sent the industry into a frenzy, as the idea of an online retail giant going into the brick and mortar grocery was unheard of. We explored what the news meant for the current brick and mortar space, and how technologies like VR are becoming an necessity for innovation.

6.jpg Market Researchers Are Now Using VR to Get into Your Head
  Inc.com featured InContext earlier this year, interviewing our CTO Tracey Wiedmeyer on the benefits of leveraging VR for market research.  

7.jpg  What Will V-Commerce Look Like?
Commerce as we once knew it is extinct. With the rise in mixed reality and extended reality technologies that includes VR, the way we shop is going to take on a whole new dimension with virtual online shopping. Check out these videos demonstrating examples of what the future might hold for V-commerce.

8.jpg ShopperMX™: Cloud-Based Enterprise Virtual Reality Platform
This year, we put together a comprehensive, digestible video detailing how ShopperMX™ leverages virtual reality simulations to deliver an unsurpassed in-store perspective of new shelf, signage, display and store designs. 

9.jpg Why Your Brand Needs VR: Save Weeks and Dollars by Developing Your Next In-Store Concept in Virtual
Until recently, shoppers either had to walk into a physical store or hop online to purchase their wares.  But smart phones now allow us to do both—affecting the way retailers and brands consider how they engage their target customers. In this webinar, we explain how virtual reality solutions allow users to ideate, evaluate and activate new in-store concepts in a fraction of the time and for the fraction of the investment. 

10.jpg What Will Shopping Feel Like in Virtual Reality?
Virgin's Future Visions podcast talked to leading tech experts, including Blockchain founder Peter Smith and our own CTO Tracey Wiedmeyer, about how the industry is working towards making shopping experiences that are more fun, more convenient and highly personalized, through emerging technologies.

11.jpgInContext Solutions And The New (Virtual) Reality Of Retail
"According to reports,  74 percent of retailers say they’ll lean on VR in the coming years to improve customer experience and gather data." PYMNTS featured InContext in a piece all about VR's impact on on the retail industry and where we're heading next.

12.jpg  Five Ways Virtual Reality Disrupts Market Research
It was a big year for market research. InContext chief research officer Rich Scamehorn penned a piece for CPG Matters this summer on five ways virtual reality is revolutionizing shopper insights and changing the way we approach our understanding of today's shoppers. 

13.jpgRapid Virtual Prototyping for 21st Century Shopper Insights
In today's ultra-competitive retail landscape, speed to market is essential to survival. ShopperMX™ Indicators were developed with exactly that thought in mind. Listen to Melissa Jurgens, InContext Solutions’ Vice President of­ Customer Success, detail how rapid virtual tests are helping companies work more efficiently and gain deeper insights through VR technology, and download the accompanying report!

14.jpgThe ROI Of VR
Interested to learn more about the return on investment that VR technology can help provide? InContext CEO Mark Hardy penned a piece for Retail TouchPoints on the four ways investing in virtual reality can help grow profits and efficiency at your store.

15.jpgKellogg Boosts Sales, Bolsters Center Store With Virtual Reality Insights
CPG Matters delved into the ways Kellogg Company has leveraged enterprise VR software, via InContext, to "boost sales, increase efficiencies and take greater advantage of market research insights."

16.jpgTime for Grocers to Adopt VR?
Progressive Grocery interviews retail and grocery veteran and founder of Mariano's Fresh Market, Bob Mariano, on his thoughts on the future of technology's impact on retail.

17.jpgIn-Store Marketing Matters...Unless You're Doing it Wrong
Advertising, marketing and in-store experiences play a huge role in actual sales, maybe now more than ever. Read on to read how virtual reality can help you create marketing concepts that stand out from the crowd.

To put it simply, it's been an interesting year for the industry. We're excited to see what 2018 brings, and continue to play a role in how technologies like virtual reality shape the future. 

Gina Joseph

Gina is the Senior Manager of Content Marketing at InContext Solutions

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