Using Nike’s “Instant Checkout” functionality customers can pay for their purchase by scanning the bar code on a product using Nike’s mobile app. After paying for the purchase within the app members can skip the checkout line and walk out of the store with their items. Instant Checkout stations are placed throughout the store so that customers can bag their own items if they choose to do so after paying for their purchase.
To use these features customers must be members of NikePlus, Nike’s loyalty program. Turning our mobile phones into digital shopping assistants is the next evolution of retail.
Augmented reality (AR) can help to reduce the friction that exists while shopping online. Wayfair, an online furniture company, has functionality called View in Room 3D in its main mobile shopping app. Using only a smartphone, a customer can virtually place a piece of furniture in their home. The technology makes it easier to see what fits and what goes well with a customer’s décor before they make a purchase. The functionality was created using Apple’s AR platform ARKit and is also available to Android users leveraging Google’s ARCore platform. To provide a sense of how new this functionality is, Apple’s ARKit, which allows developers to create augmented reality experiences for users on iOS, was released in September of 2017 and Google’s version called ARCore was only released in February of 2018.