Hey there. I’m George Blitzer, the guy running Zen Merchandiser. This article is just an intro to our first series that will be focused on retail technology – trends, software, hardware and practical guides to get your operation up to date. So, if you’re looking for something actionable right now, you came to the wrong article. Check our blog for updates.

You’ve probably been around the site by now and you might be a bit intrigued by the choice of topics that our articles and content cover. Well, there’s a simple explanation: technology & data go hand in hand with design, merchandising, sales, support, customer experience and ultimately overall business strategy.

There’s no such thing as “the most important aspect” when it comes to a store anymore. It’s either all taken into account, or it’s a sub-par experience for most customers, especially considering the ever increasing expectations towards every facet of your operation: product selection, pricing, customer service and so on. There’s no denying that. Not anymore at least.

With that in mind…

We’re going to talk about all the cool technologies we can use to track everything we can in stores. From display interactions to walking patterns. From average times on the floor to average times on checkout.

We’re going to take a look at Japan. Because they’re not just weird, they’re in certain aspects years ahead of Europe and the US. Especially when it comes to automation. We’re going to take a look at what retail technology seeps through the cracks in emerging markets and the poorest countries. Because they’re surprisingly innovative, despite (or because of) the lack of resources

We’re going to talk about omni-channel integration. Because it’s cool and very few people get it right. And because it’s the “next big thing” for the last 5-6 years. It’s still catching on, to be honest.

We’re also going to take a close look at all the cute robot assistants used in stores.

We’re going to talk about the bogeyman – the big, scary automation trend.

I’d like to say “At the end of this series you’ll…”, but that’s not the case – I’ll be covering this topic for a long time and I don’t expect to run out of things to write about in the following years. See you next week with our first in-depth retail technology article.

Stay tuned, because we’re going to sprinkle some in-depth retail technology article on this retail design blog. So, get off your flying cellphone scooters and subscribe – it’s going to be worth reading. Or like / follow, whatever you fancy.