The retail landscape is transforming; online channels are now having to step up their game to provide an experience on par with that of being in-store, whilst physical retail seeks to be as seamless and frictionless as its online counterpart. In order to thrive both online and offline however, you need to be in the business of blended retail, celebrating every channel for what it can do best to amplify the customer experience and deliver competitive edge. So what lessons from online can be adopted to enhance the in-store experience?
When browsing products online, we all have access to a breadth of knowledge, information and reviews at our fingertips to aid our purchase decisions, allowing us to make well-informed decisions. How can the equivalent experience be provided in-store without the friction of having to get our phones out of our pockets to find out more?
Lift and learn technology is an ideal solution that can totally transform the in-store customer experience, providing vital product information and context – often the missing piece of the jigsaw when shopping in-store. The lift and learn experience essentially, does what it says on the tin – combining input sensors and output devices that are intricately connected, it creates an experience that engages passing customers through animated content, encouraging them to lift a product from its shelf and learn more about it.
Below each product, technology is integrated into the display to trigger product-related content to burst to life on a nearby screen – technology that can range from infrared, to RFID tags, or computer vision depending on your needs and goals. Once the product-related content has been activated, it then educates the customer on what they’ve picked up – be it price, product benefits, customer reviews, or campaign-related content such as promotional ambassador videos. In doing so, this additional layer of information helps the customer to determine which product is best for their needs, ultimately aiding their decision-making process, adding greater value to their shopping trip.
Because of the digital nature of the experience, brands and retailers can also use the analytics to analyse and track the performance and effectiveness of the campaign or products, whilst also testing the appetite for new products in the marketplace.
As an example, we created a product boot wall for PUMA to help enhance the decision-making process for their digital-native, football obsessed audience. Energetic content plays in-store via screens to spark intrigue from afar, and then intelligently reacts to the customers presence nearby, inviting them to pick up a boot from the boot wall. As the user interacts with the boots, the sensors detect a product pickup, and triggers product-specific content to burst to life on the screen, elaborating on specific boot features and materials. What this interactive boot wall does, is provide the reassurance needed when buying a product that is such a personal investment and significance to a football obsessed audience, building customer confidence and putting them at ease with their selection.
The beauty of lift and learn technology is that it helps to create highly personalised, relevant experiences that adds true value to the customer, ultimately driving product sales and encouraging repeat purchases. In the sports industry, where products are often scientifically crafted with new technologies and innovations, extra information is required to help educate customers on such technical benefits. For runners who require a specific type of shoe based on their needs and foot type, lift and learn technology when combined with 360 foot-scanning and gait analysis, for example, can create the ultimate in hyper-personalised product experience.
Over in the beauty industry, the same benefits can be felt too; with an overwhelming amount of product choice and colour varieties, it is often counterintuitive to a good experience and customers are left confused or put off from a purchase entirely. Lift and learn technology that features the power of consumer reviews and product information, combined with AR try-on filters can truly immerse the customer in the product and transform a previously frustrating experience into one that is seamless and backed with reassurance.
Ultimately, the future of retail is undeniably digital. It’s gloriously experience-rich. And it’s data-driven, every, step, of the way. But as with integrating any technology in-store, its sole purpose should always be to add genuine value to the customer’s life, with a real understanding of what it means to be human.