Future Stores: How Emerging Tech Keeps Retail Competitive

Future Stores: How Emerging Tech Keeps Retail Competitive

Retailers must be tired of hearing about what emerging technologies can do for them, as it’s what consulting firms and other companies have told them for years. However, from the emergence of AR features in mobile apps to target buyers for furniture and home decor to the visualization of those items in their own home, it is clear that emerging technologies are finding their proverbial home in the retail space. Beyond AR/VR capabilities in mobile apps, Future Stores, Seattle helped shine a light on expanding retail technologies to automated checkout, open source hardware, and common architecture patterns within core operating systems. How these options in emerging tech can be uniquely leveraged for retail can be found right here.

Augmented reality and virtual reality

In late 2017- early 2018, an initial round of AR features in mobile apps targeted buyers for furniture and home decor, to visualize furniture and items in their own home environment. There are signs that AR and VR will be leveraged in stores and could figure prominently in omnichannel shopping and store operations.

  • Augmented Reality, Walmart Labs developed an AR-based product comparison scanner for its mobile app that allows users in-store to scan entire shelf section to compare products detail, rather than having to scan a barcode to look up product one at a time. This feature helps have a better visual search to become more useful and valuable to shoppers and retailers.
  • Virtual Reality, Macy’s provides shoppers with a VR headset to help them design their own room settings by visualizing and moving around 3D images of different furniture items, increasing furniture sales and diminishing returns.

AR and VR are still in the early adoption phase, but we’re starting to see adoption with retailers who are experimenting with how to leverage the technologies to obtain a return on their investments.

Automated checkout & Cashier-less stores

We’ve all heard about Amazon Go and its cashier-less convenience stores, but what about other technology companies inspiring automated checkout, as well as other forms of expedited self-checkout and mobile checkout? Not all size and type of retailers have been considered viable candidates for automated checkout. Having slow lines cost potential sales in retailers. By lowering wait time in lines, customers are more likely to purchase items, which would help both the shopper’s experience and the retailer’s profit.

Open Source software

Open source is exactly what it sounds like: a source code that anyone can modify, enhance, and inspect. The major benefit here is that programmers can manipulate and change how pieces of software, programs, or application work. Using open source allows programmers to improve that program by adding features or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly. It also grants permission to use the software for any purpose they wish. Open source licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they permit other people to make modifications to source code and incorporate those changes into their own projects, as long as they let others do the same when they share their work. There are 3 main reasons why people prefer open source software:

  • Control– They can examine the code and make sure it’s not doing anything they don’t want it to do, and they can eliminate aspect they don’t want/need.
  • Training– It helps programmers learn. Since its publicly accessible, they can easily study it as they learn to make better software and share their mistakes with other programmers.
  • Stability– users relying on that software for critical tasks can be sure their tools won’t disappear or fall into disrepair

Common Architecture

Enterprise architecture defines how the organization will meet future business problems. It’s important to begin building stability into your organization by having enterprise architecture. The architecture features multiple layers of perception to form a complete and common view of information, guidance, and direction. Together, these benefits form guardrails for the organizational solution, by adding guides and constraints to those solutions. Shifting from silo-based systems, managed business values, and measuring outcomes will drive your organization away from system silos toward integrated enterprise ecosystems. Choosing the right architecture is crucial and may affect the enterprise architectural domain: Strategy, Business, data, application, infrastructure, and security. Common architecture inherently streamlines communications between different teams within your organization.

Want to know more?

Download our whitepaper on how retailers can bridge the gap between their online & brick and mortar experiences.

Gustavo Romero

Gustavo Romero

Gustavo for the past two years has been helping Shockoe expand their client portfolio. As an account executive, he nurtures relationships from introduction to engagement by bringing the right resources at appropriate times. He previously worked for 5
years as a lawyer focused on intellectual property and trademark and ties this to sales approaches at Shockoe. He is focused on growing Shockoe’s client portfolio by providing emerging technology solutions to both enterprise and customer end users.

GDPR and How Mobile Should Prepare

GDPR and How Mobile Should Prepare

It’s not just the EU that needs to worry — GDPR will affect developers at a global level

The European Union GDPR, set to take effect on May 25th of 2018 will have a larger impact than the assumed immediacy of the European Union. What this means for mobile developers worldwide is the need to adhere to a new set of regulations; such rules will impact the way in which EU-based user data is captured, stored, and managed. It is important to be prepared, as fines and penalties are slated to be devastatingly impactful should there be a misstep.

Let’s jump into the details.



What is the GDPR?

GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is an EU law that is designed to strengthen privacy and protect data for individuals across all EU countries.  At its core, GDPR sets in motion new rules designed to give users, specifically EU citizens, control over their data and knowledge of how it is being utilized. Furthermore, it aims to simplify the regulatory environment so both citizens and businesses can fully benefit from the digital economy.


Some of the key privacy and protection requirements include:


  1. Requiring the consent of subjects for data processing
  2. Anonymizing collected data to protect privacy
  3. Providing data breach notifications
  4. Regulating the transfer of data across borders to ensure a safe procedure
  5. Requiring certain companies to appoint a data protection officer to oversee GDPR compliance


GDPR will go into effect on May 25th, 2018, and will enforce stiff penalties if the guidelines are not followed.

GDPR Will Affect U.S. Companies


If your company or organization collects or processes the personal data of an EU citizen, you will be required to follow the set regulations including those listed above. Your team will be on the hook to obtain consent from prospects and customers before collecting additional personal data and furthermore, must offer a clear means for deleting their records upon request.


If your company fails to meet any of the newly set regulations, be prepared for a possible EU-imposed fine. GDPR will apply sanctions to U.S.-based businesses through jurisprudence, and the aid of international law.


  1. U.S. companies with a physical presence in the EU: GDPR can be enforced directly against [U.S. companies] by EU member state authorities.
  2. U.S. companies without a physical presence in the EU: GDPR addresses this issue for companies that have more than 250 employees or process large amounts of data “by requiring companies without an establishment in the EU … to designate a ‘representative’ located in the EU.”


The reality is that this won’t apply to every U.S. company or organization, just the ones knowingly and actively conducting business in the EU. In this vein, EU courts have the discretionary ability to determine if any U.S. company was purposely collecting EU resident data and subverting GDPR compliance, which can be upheld under international law.


If your team is unsure of how to broach GDPR, Microsoft has put together a guide to assess your team’s  GDPR Readiness.



GDPR for Mobile Apps

Because GDPR defines “personal data” as the recording of any data that could identify an individual, many mobile apps stand to be affected. Names, phone numbers, addresses, as well as digital information including usernames and locations, ultimately signify that publishers will be responsible for the array of user data at their disposal.


Application owners must begin a process with their users towards demonstrating data-transparency, including how and why their personal and usage data are being stored. This requirement will place the onus of communicating updates and processes to EU users by May 25th of this year, a measure that is being touted a ‘first step in data security’ by GDPR regulators.


As an additional measure of security, publishers will be fully responsible for tracking the movement of sensitive data including all digital and physical access to it. As such, it will be imperative for publishers to thoroughly document data changes and maintain pristine logs.


The many regulations mandated by GDPR do have the benefit of falling in line with Shockoe ’s existing best practices. Data security in an age of rising cybercrime means that the responsibility of securing sensitive information falls into the hands of developers. Any mobile environment that exchanges data between app and server should be encrypted; this is a position that Shockoe always stands by with its clients.


Ready to Prep for GDPR?

Here are a few things for your company to consider regarding your mobile technology in preparation for GDPR deployment in spring 2018:


  1. Determine which data matters to your team and cut out the less-important fields
  2. Inform users of GDPR updates and obtain consent to store their data
  3. Respond to user requests in a timely manner
  4. Encrypt user data
  5. Ensure users are updated promptly about security incidents
  6. Know your technology and potential weak links, and address them with urgency

If it’s worth stating, it’s worth restating: Fines can reach up to 4% of global annual revenue or $23,000,000, whichever is higher. With fines this high, organizations can run the risk of severe penalty and even catastrophic failure, which is a sign of how serious the EU is taking consumer privacy through GDPR.  

Such a drastic shift in data regulations can be unquestionably daunting and confusing. There are many variables at play and potentially high consequences for not considering them all. If you work for a U.S. based organization, give us a call or send us an email; we’ll be glad to guide you through the required changes or discuss your specific needs.