Digital added value
Digital technology is becoming an increasingly important part of physical retail. To succeed, concepts must offer added value to shoppers, brand owners and retailers. Digital promotes vital interaction, either through personalised engagement, multisensory brand experiences or shopper feedback.
Excuse me, could you help me? The biggest advantage of a physical retail store is the personalized attention and advice that sales assistants can offer to shoppers. But what do you do when salespeople are not available to help, or shoppers are just browsing for inspiration? Digital signage that only delivers general messages will not fully leverage the potential for shopper engagement; intelligent displays can achieve so much more.
Smart display technology developed by Sensape provides ‘interactive infotainment’ and is revolutionising customer engagement in store. Thanks to the artificial intelligence software in the display, it can recognise the age, gender and even mood of the observer to automatically display relevant information and product messages.
Oreo is currently using an installation that invites shoppers to grab a packet of the cookies from a display placed next to an information totem. The shopper is then rewarded with a coupon, a recipe or a funny augmented reality picture, set against Oreo’s brand imagery. Contents are customized dynamically, depending on the person standing in front of the display. Sensape uses machine learning algorithms to program the displays. This means the computer ‘learns’ on its own to recognise the right information from pre-existing data, just like humans do. This enables more accurate and reliable recognition of objects and interactions than that achieved by previous POS technologies.
Content Bowl – all-round engagement
If you believe that with floor stickers, shelf wobblers and all sorts of display screens you have exhausted all the available promotional space in store, think again. Developed by COSALUX, the Content Bowl AUMA 360° draws the attention of shoppers towards the top of the store – the ceiling, a virgin area largely unexplored by POS marketing. When shoppers enter a specific area near the digital entertainment dome, they become totally immersed in the brand experience. HD videos play inside the bowl, accompanied by matched music and fragrances.
The ‘Like Machine’ – on-shelf product reviews
Consumer product reviews can play an important role when shoppers are selecting and buying products. To date, such reviews could only be posted online. Now though, brands in the USA can provide customer reviews directly on-shelf using the ‘Like Machine’. This mini review device invites shoppers to like a product by pressing its ‘like’ button. It is located right next to the product to which it relates, and shows the total number of positive reviews to help build shopper trust in popular products.
Augmented Reality: virtual in-store concepts
Augmented reality (AR) applications that blend the real and virtual worlds have been around for a while, but the unprecedented success of Pokémon Go has dramatically increased public awareness. The good news is that this technology offers options way beyond chasing virtual monsters. For instance, AR can link a real retail environment and a virtual display model; this allows store managers and merchandisers to agree the ideal display format, size and location before the secondary displays are even produced. During display and packaging design, STI Group uses virtual placement on shelves and shop floors to help brand sales teams make their annual display placement decisions.