For retail, the future is now.
By 2019, luxury consumers will be able to use mobile pay everywhere, buy products directly from Alphabet (GOOGL) unit Google's search feed, receive personalized offers from retailers, and play with augmented reality tech in physical stores, according to a panel of luxury digital experts at a conference Wednesday, Oct. 18.
"There's a lot of information out there," said Allegra Farina, a marketing director for Proenza Schouler, a private equity-backed luxury handbag company. "We're all razzle dazzled by the next new thing, if it's VR, AR [augmented reality] or AI."
But for Proenza Schouler, whose customers lean young and affluent, the most obvious area of innovation is mobile pay, Farina said at the Luxury Interactive conference in New York City Wednesday.
"What we're really testing are things we can apply with technical application, like two-tap purchase on mobile," she added. "It's simple, low-hanging fruit."
Mobile payment is slowly but surely making its existence known by stores and consumers alike. USA Technologies (USAT) , for instance, is a publicly traded company that specializes in cashless tech that saw its shares increase by more than 45% this year. In China, consumers have already paying for items using WeChat, an all-encompassing social media app.
On the high tech side, augmented reality is hugely anticipated. Augmented reality refers to technology that simulates images onto reality, so in a retail setting, this could be mean an app that overlays 3D models of products on the real-time feed of a camera--something that IKEA is already using. Sephora, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, also has an app that allows users to "try on" makeup by layering visuals over the user's image.
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According to Liana Thompson, a senior director of e-commerce for Tiffany & Co. (TIF) , search engines will soon allow shoppers to buy a product directly through Google's search feed without having to visit any website in particular.
She also said that on the back-end for retailers, e-commerce integration will play a bigger role in attracting customers. This could mean using predictive analytics, which are a set of data analysis tools that collect consumer behavior history and trends.
A predictive analytics firm could find a customer who have spent a small amount of money in the past and tell the retailer, "they've only been able to spend a small amount of money here in the past, but we think they might be open spending more in the future, and here's when," Thompson explained in the panel.
A recent survey by Forbes Insight and commerce marketing platform Criteo (CRTO) surveyed more than 500 marketing execs and found that four out of five retailers already include customer data as part of their business strategy, but only about 60% said they are successful at collecting, analyzing and using customer data across different channels.
Data, already, is a matter of life and death for retailers, according to Criteo CEO Eric Eichmann. "But in general retailers are way behind when it comes to data."
"Their marketing dollars need to perform a lot better than they are today," he told TheStreet in a previous interview.
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Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 18.