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Connected shopping bag concept edges closer to reality

The development of a physical shopping bag with the functionality of an e-commerce check-out may soon be a commercial reality.

In a bid to bring the personalisation and convenience of online shopping into the physical store, Capgemini, Adobe and start-up, Twyst, have unveiled a connected shopping bag which understands exactly which products are inside it. 

“There’s a lot of investment going into digital, into online and mobile but the physical store still remains the centre of the experience, it still drives 90 per cent of the revenue in many established retailers,” Ben Gilchriest, principal digital innovation, Capgemini told Internet Retailing.

“How do we bring the richness of personalisation and experience that’s available online to the physical store? That was our design challenge.”

The design team settled on developing a shopping bag, inspired by an e-commerce shopping cart, which uses RFID tags on products to collect data in a physical store. Once integrated with marketing and analytics tools, the platform will have knowledge of previous purchases, wishlists, loyalty and available inventory to provide a relevant offers to the shopper in real time.

Death of the barcode?
The other use case for the connected bag is to provide a frictionless check-out process by eliminating the need to scan individual items.

Gilchriest said customers are increasingly demanding a frictionless experience across channels and are expecting the same speed and efficiency instore as available online.

“To meet that experience and expectation need it [requires] an investment in the types of technology which make that check-out completely frictionless. That means not scanning barcodes at a check-out,” Gilchriest said.

Gilchriest said the connected bag is now production ready and Capgemini is in talks with with several well known global brands to take the product though proof of concept testing.

He also urged retailers to think differently about deploying technology. 

“With a lot of these technologies there is a need to experiment and try them in a different way to how past technologies have been introduced in the retail space,” Gilchriest said. “The tendency in the past has been to consider it at scale – which is important – and approach it in that way.

“The thing that I encourage clients to do is to take a leap of faith with some of these technologies, not because you should experiment just for experiments’ sake, but because it’s important to understand the practical application of these [technologies] and how they can drive value for the business. If done in the right way it will drive value.”

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