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Consumer engagement has drastically changed over the past few years. We live in the age of instant gratification and people do not like waiting for anything. Eliminating inconveniences and hassles is a priority. Take a step back and reflect on your customer’s journey and its bottlenecks. One standard bottleneck area for all retailers is the “checking out” process. Retailers have made considerable progress in this area for the purpose of enhancing consumer engagement, although it has not been perfected. Over the past few years, some stores have implemented self-checkout areas. This is an imperfect solution that often results in further frustrations as customers are not educated well enough to use the system and must resort to hunting down an associate to help them. The phrase “checking in is the new checkout” can frequently be heard. This is the natural next step in the progression of improvement. A pioneer in this area is Amazon who opened their first Amazon Go Store last week.
The store uses proprietary Just Walk Out technology that detects what was taken from the shelves and whether something was put back and then it automatically charges customer’s Amazon account upon exit. This is the first store of its kind and Amazon has spent countless resources and even experienced delays in turning this store into a reality. It will take some time before this solution is perfected, widely adopted and cost sensible for other retailers. Regardless, it is a way to entice customers to physically go to the stores for the experience rather than shop online. Consumer engagement and POP display innovation go hand-in-hand. Retailers are constantly looking for ways to enhance the consumer experience so that it becomes part of the brand’s storytelling. A great example for this is when Topshop’s flagship store in London presented a 10-day campaign where customers wore a VR headset so that they could experience a computer-generated waterslide journey through Oxford Street. Customers actually slid down a slide in the store which coupled their physical experience with their virtual journey.
Another example is when DNS Industries took on the task to work with ItsMe3D to design and build a photo rig that was used by Telus. The idea behind the concept was simple; develop POP displays that would attract consumers to the Telus 3D booth, and ultimately the Telus store. The photo rig generated a 3D image of the consumer within a minute, and it was then sent to their phone. Upon completion, customers were also educated about Telus’ promotions and incentivized to go and visit the store. The ItsMe3D campaign was innovative and generated both: memorable branding and positive consumer experience. Consumers who shared their 3D avatars on social media spread free brand awareness and advertising for Telus. This type of interactive display provides a lasting impact on user engagement for the brand and consumers alike. Click here to see the ItsMe3D turn social media influencer, Casie Stewart, into an animated avatar.
Combining retail automation alongside innovative POP displays and fixtures into retail stores will soon become the norm. Retailers are noticing the value in investing in innovative displays because it creates more reasons for customers to shop at physical retail locations rather than online. Retailers have the opportunity to become social venues where customers can experience new environments and most importantly, create positive brand memories. This tactic complements a retailer’s strategy to grow in-store traffic.Retail automation can seem intimidating, but there are many other areas of innovation to tackle! Just think about your customer journey and their frustrations. Sometimes a customer doesn’t know how to find something in the store, sometimes they want to know more information about the product from somebody other than a brand rep, and sometimes they want to know the price of the item at other retailers…Possibilities for combining retail automation and POP display innovation are endless! And even if somebody has figured out a way to automate a component of the retail journey, there is always more that can be done and improved upon.
DNS Industries is known to create POP displays and fixtures tailored towards retail interaction at many levels. We encourage you to reach out to us and learn how our services can complement your in-store retail experience.