Ubiquitous Computing, Contactless Points, and Distributed Stores

Ubiquitous Computing, Contactless Points, and Distributed Stores

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7368-5.ch089
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The new technologies modify both customer behavior and corporate approach to the retail process by changing both the way consumers access and consumption of information. In this scenario, a huge number of “contactless technologies” are emerging as the most promising direction for supporting automatic payment and self-checkout. Similarly, ubiquitous retailing is acquiring importance in the current competitive scenario, based on ubiquitous computing (or ubiquitous access to information). As a consequence, these innovations are removing the boundaries of the physical space and pushing retailers to redefine the traditional business model and practices. The aim of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive framework of this new competitive scenario, starting from the most innovative technologies in retail domain with emphasis on the new ubiquitous ones, and sheds lights on the future of the (technology-enriched) places of shopping.
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As anticipated, the continuous progresses in information and communication technologies (ICT) impact on retail strategy and operations triggering the proliferation of new channels and new modalities through which customers may directly interact with firms. Due to the large amount of technological innovations, the necessity to classify them emerges as the starting point for a deep understanding of the current scenario. In this chapter, we propose a classification based on the functions of these systems for retail purposes as follows: (i) technologies for virtually trying the products, (ii) technologies for automatic product search, (iii) technologies for automatic payments, and (iv) full-service technologies (technologies integrating all these services).

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