What do we expect when we buy a product? Our expectations have changed from where they were even a couple of years ago. Especially when the product is an emotionally driven big ticket item or a luxury investment piece - a car, an engagement ring, the latest 'it' bag ...
We want, and expect, more than simply going to the shop or showroom and picking up an off-the-shelf item; we want to be wowed, to feel the purchase is unique and that the whole process was designed for us. We buy into uniform uniqueness - finding our personal experience in the constraints of consumerism.
This isn't a rant about consumer behaviour or big business, from a marketing (and shopping) perspective I really enjoy the evolution of customer experiences; especially those at the point-of-sale. We can see how automotive brands and clothing retailer are leading the way in creating tailored, innovative customer experiences. Automotive in the use of configurators, simulators and pop-up showrooms; and clothing retailers in their desire to create an experience for the customer, guiding them through product ranges, building style guides and up-selling across ranges.
One of the best example I've seen recently in the clothing retail space is Magic Mirror, a virtual dressing room, photo booth, signage combo that allows brands to create experiences that encourage customers to play, win, buy and share product information across social media. It's easy to see how this could be expended across different sectors and audiences.
Working for a software company it's great to see the incorporation of visualisation technology in these POS design ideas and the inclusion of augmented reality, real-time configurators and photorealism of content.