Future of Retail: Pre-View Shopping

Future of Retail: Pre-View Shopping

Smarter mobile devices and improved GPS technologies are providing shoppers with details about the retail environment, often before they ever visit the store.

Kyle Studstill
  • 2 june 2010

PSFK Future Of Retail Pre-View Shopping

This post is part of a PSFK Consulting project aimed at providing insight into the Future of Retail. Pre-View Shopping is one trend of ten that appears in our exploration of how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience, both in and out of the store, from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities.

Smarter mobile devices and improved GPS technologies are providing shoppers with details about the retail environment, often before they ever visit the store. This information can take the form of interior views or turn-by-turn directions to help customers better navigate the aisles and locate products easier. In addition, to providing increased convenience and efficiency, this technology also allows for real-time information about foot-traffic at retail locations and stands to affect consumer habits such as what time of day they visit a store.


  • Provide customers with real-time information about in-store wait times
  • Present customers with information that enables a better shopping experience, opening the door for repeat business
  • Consider the possibility of linking information such as inventory with recommendations and discounts
  • Provide customers with relevant information that they can react to including inventory, wait times, shopping lists, in-store maps, and reviews

Supporting Examples for Pre-View Shopping:


Insider Access
By overlaying event and venue-specific map data onto Google Maps technology, developers are able to build mobile applications with maps of indoor space. Services like Point Inside are able to take these foundations and provide merchants with the ability to communicate with shoppers as they move physically along an indoor map.


App Offers Turn-By-Turn Directions Indoors
Fast Mall is mobile app that provides turn-by-turn directions inside locations such as shopping malls without the need for GpS. Users can sync the app with their social media profiles, add reviews of stores and restaurants, create shopping lists, set reminders for where they parked and shake their phone for the location of the nearest bathrooms.

Grocery IQ

Grocery Application makes Shopping More Efficient
Grocery IQ is an iphone application that gives users a simple method for tracking and organizing the groceries they buy. Upon first use, items from a shoppers’s list are automatically sorted to match the rows of the store they shop. over time the application learns the user’s purchase habits and default items to arrange shopping lists even more efficiently.

Google Places

Visit The Store Before Your Trip
Google has launched an initiative that provides shoppers with an inside view of a location’s setting, facilities, ambiance, merchandise, layout, and decor when searching for the right business. Google photographers organize visits with retail business owners, building an interactive tool for customers at the location’s Google places page.


Gift Recommendations Guided By Location
NearbyNow provides gift recommendations for multiple stores within a mall. the application aggregates top gift guides into one location, allowing shoppers to narrow down gifts by descriptions of the recipient and pointing shoppers to nearby retailers that may carry them.


Webcams Show Which Locations Are Crowded
In an effort to lessen waiting times and prevent overcrowding at Singapore’s health clinics, the country’s Ministry of Health has developed Queue Watch, an online service that provides a real-time picture of what’s happening at each location. an interactive map reveals not just the number of patients waiting for registration and consultation, but also live webcam images showing the waiting areas for registration, consultation and pharmacy payment.

Request your free Copy Of The Future Of Retail Report here.

In just over 80 pages, PSFK Consulting provide an analysis of the Future of Retail. This free report explores a future from the perspective of brands, shoppers, retailers and communities – highlighting how technology and our senses play a role in the retail experience both in and out of the store. It features interviews with senior executives from Ace HotelPolyvoreStarbucks andTarget. The trends identified within this document and the examples used to bring them to life are inspired by innovation from around the globe.



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