Shop! Trend Report

Technology

Neuro-Graphics

Designers are drawing on patterns created by brain waves, movement tracking, and biometrics to create a visual lexicon for communicating emotions. The rise of a holistic approach to health has made consumers more attuned to the inner workings of the brain and body. Brands are catering to this increased awareness with innovative communications and products. DRIVERS Designers are beginning to translate the patterns created by human brain waves, biometric measurements, and movement tracking into physical objects and environments. They’re combining science with intuitive mark-making to create a subtle and expressive aesthetic. Rather than taking a literal approach, they are combining... Read More

Data Designers

Designers are no longer relying solely on a pencil and paper to come up with a great idea. Data is the latest design tool being used to shape better decisions on product development and marketing. Retailers are measuring consumer preferences online and using this data to inform design decisions. “Companies increasingly understand that their ability to compete is tied to their ability to create and harness value from data, and are seeking new ways to look at big data and beyond,” according Kathryn Howe, senior advisor for the retail industry at Cisco, in its recent white paper, “Beyond Big Data:... Read More

Blockchain Consumerism

The blockchain, still in its infancy, is as puzzling to some as it is thrilling for others. Crucially, it has the potential to cut out financial institutions and third parties in the selling of goods and services. So, what exactly is blockchain? It is a distributed database that is held across a network and stores data in blocks, which can verify information and are nearly impossible to hack. It removes the need for third-party verification and therefore disrupts any sector where this is traditionally used. “The blockchain is an enabling technology,” explains Dan Burrus, futurist and founder of Burrus Research.... Read More

Mimicry Marketing

Marketers are mimicking digital behavior in a bid to capture the attention of those online viewers who see ads as a nuisance to be skipped—or even blocked. “People want to fast forward, so it is natural and healthy for us [as an industry] to face the challenge and move with the times,” says Freddie Powell, creative director at Wieden + Kennedy London. “If people want to skip forward, they should be allowed to.” The challenge for retailers is to make an impact on less-than-captive audiences within shorter time frames than ever. Creativity is the name of the game, and successful... Read More

Virtual Opulence

In the digital world, we are used to thinking about three channels: physical, desktop, and mobile. Now a range of virtual technologies is creating new touchpoints for luxury consumers as aspirational brands experiment with Virtual Opulence. Traditionally, online shopping has meant speed and convenience, but online stores are borrowing the experiential elements of physical retail, and combining them with tricks of virtual reality (VR) to enhance the digital shopping experience. “Online consumers will be yearning to compensate for the hollowness of functional online buying with the other dimensions of the multi-faceted human experience of shopping—inspiration, excitement and socialization,” says Pete... Read More

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet is not just for people. More and more devices—5 billion, according to IMS Research—are being connected to each other over the Internet. This phenomenon, known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), is poised to turn retail on its head. According to the National Retail Federation, not since the introduction of online shopping has something had the potential to transform retail so profoundly. The Internet of Things will create commercial opportunities for brands and services to act as curators of data gathered from the networks of sensors. Additionally, these instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent devices are gathering data and sharing... Read More

Wearable Technology

Gone are the days when we have to pick up a smartphone and click on an app to mine for data—wearable technology allows us to be connected at all times. Technology is becoming fashion, both on the runway and in the store. Apple recently exhibited its fashion credentials with a series of in-store conversation events with industry luminaries such as Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. With former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts joining Apple at the end of 2013 as senior vice-president for retail, there are signs that the convergence of fashion and technology may be the basis for some fruitful exchange. From smart... Read More