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Tomorrow’s retail stores want to take a page from their online rivals by embracing advanced technology — everything from helpful robots to interactive mirrors to shelves embedded with sensors.

The goal: Use these real-world store features to lure shoppers back from the internet, and maybe even nudge them to spend more in the process.

Amazon’s new experimental grocery store in Seattle, opening early this year, will let shoppers buy goods without needing to stop at a checkout line. Sensors track items as shoppers put them into baskets or return them to the shelf. The shopper’s Amazon account gets automatically charged.

“Amazon, for good or bad, has been setting the path,” said Robert Hetu, research director at Gartner Research. “Each retailer is going to have to respond in some way. But it’s not one-size-fits-all.”

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NAB Smart Stores

The NAB smart stores opening in NSW and Victoria are technology enabled transnational environments that do not have tellers.

Instead there is an array of intelligent machines that populate the front of the store enabling customers to quickly process their transactions with out the need for queuing. Staff roam the transnational areas to assist in the complex transactions and to get customers comfortable with the new technologies.

There is a help area and information zone supported by casual open meeting areas and closed meeting areas for the more private conversations. The informal standing information areas have NAB technology smart phones, I-pads and laptops for customers to browse the NAB apps and the latest NAB products.

Staff can then take customers to a semi private or more private area to the rear of the store for more private conversations. The staff flexi desks are positioned to the rear of the store but with open views through to the retail area.

The smart store combines pure and practical transaction zones that enable customers to quickly and efficiently conduct their banking needs whilst also creating lingering zones for more relaxed conversations and information gathering.

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