As we wrap up 2018, it’s important to take a moment to realize just how far the retail industry has come in one short year. From Amazon Go stores popping up around the United States to an experience-based Nike concept store in New York, there were many innovative retailers that stuck out this year.

One aspect that held true across industries and store types was that they all leveraged mobile devices to provide an enhanced customer experience. To say the least, mobile and modern retail go hand in hand, as Salesforce found that 71% of shoppers use their phones in-store. Whether they’re looking up additional product information, comparing prices, or choosing to check out on mobile — in-store shopping capabilities are changing rapidly, as are consumer preferences.

Below we’ve curated a list of retailers that have taken risks to create new experiences that put innovation and mobile at their core.

1. Reformation

A number of new retail stores are working to create a customized in-store experience, that is less like combing through rack after rack of densely packed clothes and more like a personal shopping experience. Reformation is one such retailer shaking up the way shoppers walk through a store and try on products. For example, a shopper walking through a Reformation store will only see one size of each item. If they’d like to try it on, they can use in-store monitors or mobile app to add it to their virtual cart. Then, when they arrive in the dressing room the correct size and color is waiting for them after just a few minutes. If the shopper likes what they see, there is a device right in their dressing room to check out on the spot.

2. Nike

Brick and mobile” is the latest retail saying that the industry had to see coming and Nike is leading the way to implement it properly. Nike recently opened their House of Innovation 000 shop in New York that personalizes the shopping experience and expedites the try-on, pick up, and checkout processes, all using shoppers’ smartphones. Never before has one store put together all of the conveniences of mobile product reservations and online ordering quite like this. Nike has created the store of the future, helping shoppers focus on product and exploration, instead of waiting in lines to try and buy items. This is a trend we expect to see continue, as innovative retailers improve the path to purchase.

3. Sweetgreen

As a number of businesses attempt to go cashless, Sweetgreen is an innovative retailer that was able to not only pull it off successfully, but also thrive. The fast casual salad chain told Bloomberg, “By the end of 2018, we will have over 1 million people on our digital platform, and over 50 percent of orders will be processed through our app or online platforms.” Sweetgreen proves that a mobile-focused ordering and payment system can work in QSRs since the app launched in 2013 and a number of competitors are noticing their success. Not only are they allowing customers to easily order and pay, they are also offering a completely branded experience and getting valuable data on customer preferences to help them improve offerings over time.  

How LISNR Enables Innovative Retailers

As seen above, the smartphone has become the command center of the in-store shopping experience. While these retailers might utilize mobile tech in a novel way, the heart of the matter is that they are giving shoppers agency. For example, mobile devices allow shoppers to be in charge of how long they spend in stores due to automatic payment tech or enable them to have shoes waiting for them by the time they make it to the Nike dressing room.

LISNR is at the forefront of improving the shopping experience by partnering with retailers to streamline checkout, enable easy in-store pickups, send targeted promotions, and more. We accomplish this by enabling ultrasonic communication between shopper mobile devices and retail systems, such as POS terminals and pick-up lockers. Instead of requiring hefty hardware investment, our technology utilizes software as well as standard device speakers and microphones to help retailers offer a connected shopping experience.

We believe that smartphones will continue to be a staple in the shopping experience and we look forward to helping innovative retailers offer seamless experiences to their customers across shopping channels.

Want to create an innovative retail experience for your shoppers? Get in touch with team LISNR.

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