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SignStix powers Maplin ‘store of the future’ concept

Maplin commissioned SignStix to deliver a number of interactive, digital experiences for its flagship ‘store of the future’ in The Beehive Centre, Cambridge. Following the success of this first trial project, the technology retailer is set to rollout the concept across a further 20 new store formats as well as the ‘smart life’ proposition being rolled into 130 stores.

The initiative was part of a wider rebranding strategy undertaken by Maplin, to attract new customers without neglecting its existing customer base, and to reinvent the store environment as a place for customers to discover products and be inspired. Designed to take customers on a guided journey throughout the store, the ‘store of the future’ concept capitalises on Maplin’s strength of specialist knowledge by using technology to engage and converse with customers in new ways.

Since opening the first new format in November 2016, trading across the ‘stores of the future’ has outperformed the rest of the chain, with smart home sales increasing by more than double. In the first four months alone, Cambridge Beehive saw over 20,000 digital interactions with the new kit, and customer dwell time has doubled as a result of shoppers spending longer interacting with the smart life technology and getting advice from store staff.

“It’s gone exceptionally well,” said Siobhan Fitzpatrick, marketing and multichannel director for Maplin. “We are seeing significant like-for-like growth since we re-launched the stores. The customer’s responses have been fantastic; over 70% of people who have walked through the doors of Cambridge said this store is significantly better – not just better, but significantly better – and over 90% of people think the store is a massive step forward.”

The Beehive store was devoted to the idea of embracing a ‘smart life.’ Featuring a new layout and a variety of digital and multitouch experiences, the store helps customers to learn and understand how specific functions in the home, such as lighting, heating and power, can communicate with each other using technology to create a fully integrated and connected smart home.

SignStix worked closely with Maplin to ensure that their vision was brought to reality by developing a number of customer-facing digital touchpoints, including an interactive Playtable experience, developed to deliver information around various smart products in a more convenient way.

Commenting on the rollout, Nick Fearnley, SignStix CEO, commented: “It’s been highly rewarding to work closely with the Maplin team, who have done a fantastic job in creating a really engaging environment for in-store customers. We’ve enjoyed being a part of their journey, right from the original brief through to helping make their digital visions a reality.

“By working collaboratively with Maplin, we have successfully delivered a solution that aligns perfectly with their needs. The project was an invaluable opportunity to push the boundaries of what can be achieved using SignStix, and it paved the way for major innovation within the platform itself. New features, such as our Javascript Extension, present a wealth of opportunities for all clients, and will revolutionise the ways in which digital can be used in-store.”

Picture: Retail Week