Trends in next-gen commerce: shower from the Millennial 20/20 Summit

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Leigh Mardon

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I recently attended the Millennial 20/20 Summit on next-gen commerce in London. The event was rammed to the rafters with over 3,000 curious digital minds, all there to keep track of the latest innovation in the retail sector.

With over 150 world-class speakers there, it’s impossible to list everything I found interesting, but here are some snippets.

Talks on augmented reality were the star of the show. This is the future of eCommerce.

Conversion rates in some bricks-and-mortar stores are said to be around 20-30% of consumers, yet the same brand and products will only convert 3% online, on average. GoInstore are aiming to change that by creating a direct communication channel between online visitors and a real assistant in-store who can provide assistance to drive a purchase by using wearable tech and mobile devices.

The debate on virtual reality vs. augmented reality still rages, but virtual reality isn’t quite there yet; it’s expensive, and we need headgear, whereas with augmented reality, we can use the technology that we all carry around with us.

It’s great to see that there are companies out there doing amazing things to bring a splash of innovation to marketing campaigns. To name a few, Augment, Catchoom and Zappar have the technology to bring a beer mat to life on your phone with a superimposed, dancing version of me on top.

Zappar partnered with Rovio and released 1 million ‘BirdCodes’ into the wild, to support the release of the new Angry Birds Action! game. You’ll start seeing these scannable codes everywhere on packaging and promotional materials for Lego, Peperami, McDonald’s, and more, to create a more memorable experience on your phone and unlock power-ups within the game.

Next up, have a look at: 11 extraordinary uses of augmented reality.

In the world of eCommerce, augmented reality removes guesswork and increases consumer confidence. You can view a lamp in the corner of the room, see if a sofa fits and have various calls to action (Eg. call the shop directly or click to buy). Augment have also created an app that can be used by reps as a digital sales aid, by using the technology to show customers how a product or fixture will look in their store.  

Expect augmented reality to grow. It’s no secret that it has been around for a while, but as our devices increasingly get faster connections, processors, and higher resolution screens, the investment and innovation isn’t going to slow down and new trends will constantly emerge.

Finally, I was lucky enough get a sneak peak of the new Angry Birds movie.  There’s nothing quite like a room of professionals laughing out loud to a kids’ cartoon.

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