Creating interactive in-store experiences that deliver results.
The retail environment is now far more than e-commerce versus bricks and mortar. Brands are now up against competitors within their own interactive in-store experiences. Technology is now so portable and connected, we defer to it for even the most mundane tasks. A simple ‘What should I wear today?’ now becomes a topic on Twitter. We shouldn’t be surprised that shoppers are turning to this open and free source of knowledge to make sure they are spending their hard-earned coin correctly.
- 68% of all smartphone users access web in-store.
- 20% of smartphone users use it to research products in-store.
- 24% of smartphone users intentionally have their smartphone with them to inform themselves about products.
Shoppers are researching and comparing competitor products in-store. They desire and expect to be well informed before purchasing. This is the current state of retail and is fast becoming part of our social fabric. Convenience is no longer a factor, we know we can find it somewhere else cheaper and have it delivered right to our door. So shopper confidence in your product is a key to establishing strong brand affinity. Google’s amazing data about mobile search queries doesn’t just show the importance for brands to focus on mobile technology but highlights the specific requirements of the shopper in the retail space.
Interactive In-Store Experiences – The Solution
There are many solutions to this new opportunity. Yes, a mobile strategy should be included as part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, but mobile alone presents hurdles between the shopper and your brand.
- Search results – you can only optimise your site as much as your competitor can.
- Search advertising – you can only optimise your campaign as much as your competitor can.
You could further train your staff in customer service or put on additional staff to cover in-store inquiries. Print material is also a good option, but when was the last time you picked up and read a brochure in-store. Then there is the touch screen display. If the objective is to inform the shopper and fill them with confidence, this seems like the easiest way for the shopper to access and digest all the information you can offer. Plus we all love technology. Not because we love electronics and all that geeky stuff, but because:
- It’s informative. Enabling us to search and refine the information in a way that’s unique to each user.
- It’s responsive. Nothing keeps you engaged more than something that gives back.
- It makes our lives easier by doing all the heavy lifting for us.
A touch screen display has the sole task to inform customers about your products and services. The information is right there for them to access and is relevant to the environment. There are no barriers to the shopper immersing themselves into the detail of your product and service.
Touch Screen Displays engage, educate, inform and persuade customers.
At phdcreative we have recently partnered with Van Heusen, a division of Gazal, to bring a large format interactive touch screen to the menswear floor of the Myer Sydney City store. The touch screen display is part of a major Concept store relaunch for Van Heusen and this is the first large-format interactive kiosk to be installed at Myer. The strategy is to highlight technical product information and personal styling advice with a strong focus on coordinated looks. In turn, supporting sales staff on the floor. To maximize the customer interaction experience we created an easy to use interface with simple navigation paths and logical clear language to communicate detailed product information.
“This project wasn’t just about product information display and new technology. “We wanted to create an interface with measurable outcomes.” phdcreative Managing Director, Trevor Jones, explains, “So we kept it simple with the aim to attract, engage and direct.”
The Van Heusen Touch Screen Display system provides key measurable product and brand touch points, directing customers to the next step in the purchase cycle.
The concept will be rolled out across Australia to key Myer stores through 2013.
Convinced that a touch screen display is a key touch point in-store?
How to do it well
There are no hard and fast rules. But like everything in-store, you should always start with the customer.
- Where are they coming from in-store?
- What information are they after?
- How much do they already know?
- Where will they go next?
This will give you the framework of how to attract them, engage them and direct them. Then you can start working on your information architecture. Aim for it to be as logical and shallow as possible. Don’t just take the information you have on your website and put it on a 43” touch screen. The information required in-store would be different from any other piece of communication you have. User interface design is not the dark arts; we’ve all used multiple touch devices. Safe to say they’re Apple devices, with a 77% market share. User interface design for interactive devices is the integration of form and function.
Users will judge it on how well the design works with the functionality. Then you can give it context and align it with the rest of your environmental design and brand. During each of these phases, I suggest getting it in front of people for some user testing. Just like you would with your website. Have real users put it through its paces. This will highlight key barriers in the user interface and architecture early enough to do something about it. Now with the utmost confidence, you can deploy your touch screen display on the appropriate technology in-store.
A final word….
The touch screen display offers shoppers a new way to shop alongside traditional touch points. It enables customers to access the detailed information they are after. By controlling the environment where the information is displayed you remove competitor influence and ultimately deliver increased shopper engagement and education.