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Consumer News

New Technology Luring Shoppers Away From Computers, Back To Stores

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – When it comes to shopping, we are increasingly choosing to go online. Now, retailers are trying to lure shoppers back to the mall.

Imagine trying on a new outfit without ever stepping into a dressing room, or interacting with a store associate. If that sounds like the shopping experience of the future, the future isn’t really so far off.

This is the premise of Cisco’s new “Style Me” application. It allows a shopper to quickly visualize a new outfit without putting it on.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Retailers know consumers like features of online and mobile shopping such as product information and user-generated reviews.

The National Retail Federation in New York recently showed off technology that integrates a lot of those concepts with the in-store experience.

Michelle Tinsley of Intel said these new approaches “really enable the consumer to really drive the experience, and get all the data they would get from, typically, an online shopping experience, but get it at the store.”

Intel developed an in-store kiosk with Macy’s, which gives customers the freedom to explore product features on their own. A sales associate can help make the final sale.

Intel hopes this innovation will respond to discerning consumers who have more options than ever to research a purchase.

Why are brick and mortar retailers doing this? Because they look at the numbers and see the trends. Just this past holiday season, overall shopping was up about 4%, but online shopping far outpaced that rate, surging 15%.

Daniel Butler of the National Retail Federation believes customers will be embrace this technology to improve their experience in stores.

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