New iPhone 8 functionality nail in eCom and omnichannel retail coffin

While traditional retail still holds onto its crown, we all know that eCommerce is still continuing its growth trajectory as the whole world moves further online. However, with accelerated digitisation the eCom industry might be caught by surprise as there is a new, yet fairly unknown player coming to a screen near you.


It will make that plain white background product picture look just as flat as it really is. Here is why going online to shop is going to be so 2017.

The enabler

Before we look at how eCom truly will transform, let’s look at one of the key enablers for commerce, namely payments. Paying online used to be a mess. It was cumbersome, expensive and fairly risky. Card payments are being replaced by intermediaries like PayPal, and brand new payments systems like AliPay and similar (but bank-issued) mobile payment solutions in the Nordics. Paying online is super easy, frictionless and can be done with the touch of your finger. But fingerprints – phhft – old hat.

Up next: payments enabled by a whole new layer of authentication, uncoupled from your finger. You will simply pay by being you.

What do I mean by this? Well, pressing and scanning your finger is one thing, but the next iteration will simply use you looking as you normally do at your screen. The characteristics of your face are assessed quickly – no body parts touching screens required.

New iPhone 8 feature leaks have revealed that you’ll likely be unlocking your next smartphone with your face. The sensors on the phone can see stuff the human eye cannot – so it will work in any situation. But I predict that the next-next level will be based on what you are, or more precisely how you are what you are.

Confused?

Your everyday behaviour (like your gait, your breathing patterns, your smell) is identifiable. So, like it or not, with computational power and data, a machine will be able to know if you are you with minimal effort. This, in turn, will open up a digital world where everything can be personalised without you having to do anything besides being you. “Shoplifting” will just become the way you shop. Grab what you want and go. One Click Purchase will transcend into the real world. In the digital environment you will not have to log in, we already know that you are here.

The first step of this new authentication and payment reality will become clearer when we have the new iPhone 8. With facial recognition replacing fingerprints you’ll smile, nod and unlock your phone and do the same when paying.

The same iPhone leaks have also revealed that AR will kill eCom

It didn’t get a lot of attention at the time, but in June Apple announced its ARKit and Google quickly followed up with their version for Android devices. In short, this is a toolbox for developers. It allows them to deliver Augmented Reality experiences on a device – for example, your smart phone. What is AR? Wikipedia can give you all the details, but in short it is digital objects placed in a real world scenario and with the capabilities of the upcoming phones – it’s crazy good.

Assuming you have a fairly new model phone, you will be able to view the world in a whole new way. It’s easily accessible, lifelike and accurate to the extent that you can perform precise measures for home improvement, on your screen, without having to use any physical tools like a tape measure… You can see how a real piece of furniture will fit in your home, using real size, colour, and lighting. IKEA has already made an AR version of their store.

You will be able to shop your next Tesla by placing it in your garage or driveway, looking at color and styling to make it fit perfectly around you and your life.

Tomorrow’s shopping will not happen online, on a flat eCommerce website. It will happen on your favorite device, exploring what you want and need by placing it IN your world. You will pay for it by simply smiling and confirming you want it. Omnichannel is dead before most retail companies fully got into it. The new channel is your channel. Your real world. Just augmented with what you want from whoever is providing it – in an immersive way, right on your screen.


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