Love Shopping? Try atomi’s Wearable Retail Technology


I was first introduced to atomi a couple of years ago when I attended a talk at their beautiful store in Mandarin Gallery.

atomi was founded by Mr Andrew Tan and wife Mitsuko Murano in 2009 to bring the best of Japanese products to the rest of the world. (Photo: ST)

atomi’s founder, Mr Andrew Tan, is an enthusiastic advocate in Singapore’s retail scene, having written several letters to the press about improving our retail industry and actively participating in events to promote awareness and adoption of new retail technologies.

What’s new at atomi?

I was delighted to learn about atomi’s new “i wear, i watch and i buy” concept of wearable technology, which allows customers to learn more about the brand story and product details.

atomi’s wearable technology is a pair of smart glasses worn by the customer. As the customer browses through atomi’s shop, she may come upon a certain chair handcrafted by master craftsmen from Japan. The smart glasses detects she is looking at the chair, and broadcasts a short video of the making of the chair by the craftsman’s hands for the customer’s viewing. (Photo: atomi)

Nowadays customers don’t simply want to buy any product off the shelves, but would also like to feel some sort of connection to the product.

This connection could come from learning about the story of the product’s source and creation, the people involved in bringing the product to the customer, and even the user experience of discovering the many facets of the product.

The smart glasses allows the customer to enter a virtual world built with a digital copy of his residence or shop, and envision how atomi’s furniture would look like in his premises before purchasing. (Photo: atomi)

According to atomi, this wearable technology can be used in three main areas:
– awareness (e.g. video conference for B2C and B2B channel experiences)
– sales (e.g. live sales, auctions, interactive sales experiences, peer-to-peer interaction or one-to-many interaction) and
– communication / training (e.g. staff training, auditing and more).

atomi recently demonstrated the wearable technology via a live conference at the Singapore Retail Industry Conference & Exhibition 2019 below.

Improving the shopping experience while lowering the cost of retail

Imagine having access to an amazing array of products that you could build a virtual world with, to envision how they look in your life before you know which ones to purchase.

Paired with seamless online payment gateways, you have more time to explore different products and learn about their stories, rather than being limited to what you can physically see and touch in the store.

Retailers save on rental space in Singapore whilst giving their customers a wide range of products (located remotely) to choose from, with virtual staff at their service.

Improving skills and competency of sales staff

The wearable technology enables staff in any location to watch live training broadcasts and archived videos, undergo training assessments and hit training milestones as part of their professional development.

Denecia is a Place-and-Train staff at atomi who underwent training, some of which was supported by the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i).

A Life Sciences graduate, she is now Assistant Manager at atomi, overseeing the company’s shop operations and business projects. Before the wearable technology, she had to explain each brand story to one customer at a time.

Denecia with a customer at the atomi store in Mandarin Gallery. (Photo: atomi)

The wearable technology has enabled her to engage more customers with different brand stories simultaneously, as each customer is empowered to decide which brand story to watch while she comes in at appropriate stages in their store experience to explain further.

With the wearable technology, overseas franchises can also reduce cost of auditing from flights and hotel expenses.

Sales staff can serve both offline and online customers via the wearable technology, increasing their skills and productivity, giving them access to larger markets and potentially higher revenue.

According to atomi, the wearable technology uses publicly-available softwares, even the interns are able to create customised virtual worlds and brand story experiences.

With up to 70% government funding on hardware and software available, atomi says the wearable technology is an affordable solution to even SMEs.

To learn more about atomi, visit here.

Special thanks to atomi for sharing how their latest technology impacts the skills and work prospects of workers in the retail industry.

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