Something that we can’t ignore anymore, and to be honest, don’t want to ignore anymore, is certainly the use of technology in retail. In the store, behind the scenes, and obviously online as well. Retailers notice the advantages of using technology when doing stock management and financial processes. Customers are getting more and more used to it as well and have specific expectations regarding technology in the webshop and in the physical store. Will you roll out the technological red carpet as well, and make your shop experience a real omnichannel experience, or will you sit this one out?
The offer of ‘omnichannel retail solutions’ grows quickly. These solutions promise to better help provide the customer with his needs. As a consequence, these needs can be targeted and thus consumers will decide quicker to make a purchase. These solutions include for example digital signage, smart mirrors, augmented reality, and loyalty apps. Needless to say, think about what fits your store, boutique, or formula the best. Better yet, ask what fits your customer the best.
Support from orientation to the final purchase decision.
In-store, technology supports the customer in the three phases of the customer buying process, namely with orientation, evaluation of the alternatives, and ultimately the purchase decision. In some cases, technology can spark a need. Granted, this is not a new concept and is also very important when it comes to online stores.
Rituals is a good example of an organization that mixes technology in-store quite subtly. The beauty brand was looking for a mix between technology and the tranquility that the store should emit. This is especially visible in the flagship store House of Rituals. Screens with digital content appear at various points in the store. The content shown on the screens is very subtle and tailored precisely to the department where the screen is located. For the customer, it mainly offers inspiration for the product application and the images entice the customer to make a purchase. The screens are an example of indirect nudging with very subtle inspiration.
Rituals is also experimenting with interactive technologies in its flagship store. To draw more attention to the wide range of eau de parfums, an interactive perfume bar was developed. All Rituals perfumes are displayed at this perfume bar. Each perfume bottle is accompanied by a dropper with the respective fragrance. On a tablet, the customer fills in his scent preferences based on two databases: one with brands such as Hugo Boss and Gucci and one with worldly scents, such as floral and wood tones. Once the preferences are filled in, the LED lights below the droppers light up, indicating the perfumes that are closest to the customers’ preferences. The customer can then try these. This way, the customer is helped in making the best decision.
The customer experience in a central position.
Technology is there to make our lives easier and most importantly, more fun. This applies not only to the retailer for whom it becomes easier to manage their business, but mainly to the customer who can improve their shopping experience. The reason for choosing a physical store over a webshop is, among other things, the unique experience.
Experience consists of many aspects. In the context of shopping, visual appeal and entertainment play a role. These two aspects can be easily influenced by retailers. As mentioned earlier in this article, you should ask yourself whether the applied retail solution suits your store. One retailer offers an experience where the customer is helped as much as possible by technology rather than staff. The other retailer uses technology to subtly navigate customers towards certain products or offers.
Experience it yourself.
You should always consider which application optimizes the customer experience the most, no matter which solution you choose. After all, that experience is central. Are you curious about what is possible in your store? Then don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of our advisors.