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    April 28, 2016
    4 minute read

    Adobe helps usher in era of distributed commerce

    by: Peter Crosby
    Adobe's helping retailers bring digital experiences into their stores.
    Adobe's helping retailers bring digital experiences into their stores.

    The Takeaway: Adobe is bringing digital personalization to physical locations with some new technology in what we consider an awesome step toward distributed commerce.

    Wouldn't it be cool if you walked into a clothing store, were scanned by some cutting-edge camera and received recommendations based on your body type, personal style and purchase history? Sounds like something straight out of Bladerunner or Total Recall, right?

    Wrong.

    That's a real technology, which was announced at Adobe Summit 2016 by Errol Denger, director of commerce at Adobe. Denger told the audience that Adobe's digital marketing team wants to help brands and retailers leverage digital data to improve the personalization of shopping experiences in physical stores. In our eyes, that means Adobe is pushing for the future of shopping, the era of distributed commerce.

    "New tech digitally scans shoppers and provides in-store recommendations."

    A camera, a screen, a customer and a curated clothing collection
    Fashionista described how this future tech would function: A Microsoft Kinect (a high-tech but relatively cheap camera) will scan shoppers' bodies - calculating height, weight, hip width, spine length and more. While it does that, the machine pulls data from your account which contains purchase history and other freely provided personal details - like hobbies. Then, an algorithm spits out some truly custom apparel recommendations.

    Take a second to soak that in. Brands and retailers can provide a digital-like shopping experience for in-store customers that is both personalized and automated with some interesting, but surely not unique, technology. After all, other businesses are already exploring how to jump into distributed commerce with two feet. That means doing anything from optimizing your mobile app for in-store experiences to using RFID - something that Burberry's Regent Street store is already doing, according to The Daily.

    Down the distributed commerce rabbit hole
    This is literally the future of shopping. Adobe's tech is a great way for physical stores to remain relevant in today's eCommerce economy.

    For one, it makes "shopping more entertaining and in some cases easier," The Daily wrote.

    But most importantly, it enables brands and retailers to provide a consistent personalized customer experience wherever and however their shoppers demand. If shoppers are buying in-store, businesses need tech in their shops to provide those customers with primarily digital shopping features, such as product content, reviews and more. With that information available in-store and out, brands and retailers can close the sale more easily.

    It's like walking into your favorite diner and having the waiter not only know your most-ordered meal, but being able to recommend a special based on your personal taste or dietary restrictions.

    Adobe's new Kinect-based tech is a big step in the direction of distributed commerce. It bridges the gap between digital and physical. And, as our recent consumer research report explains - beyond offering some unique insight into a wide manner of today's shopping behaviors - there is a common thread that buying habits are based on: Shoppers want as much product information as possible. What's more, they'll use smartphones while in-store to discover those details. They want to understand how similar customers have fared with those products via user reviews. Adobe's and similar technologies allow brands and retailers to do just that.

    It's 2016: Consumers want customized and curated collections of products that are relevant to them, and they demand that level of service whether they're buying online or at a physical store. Is your brand on the path to meeting that need?

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