Time to transfer your online knowledge – offline!
While the past 5 years have seen offline retailers focus their efforts on transferring the in-store experience to their web presence, perhaps now it is time to reverse the procedure. With digital technologies advancing as such a rapid rate there have been many new and very innovative ways of reaching customers through online channels and adding huge value to their experience and brand image simultaneously.
So with all the new tools and techniques that organisations have learnt in the digital age, which of these tools can now be transferred back to enhance the in-store experience. The example that got me thinking about this blog came from a Mashable interview with Burberry which you can read here. Since Burberry have launched a new flagship store in London the vision for the store has been different as Christopher Bailey (Chief Creative Officer) took on the challenge of creating an online shopping experience in-store.
‘We’re putting stories behind clothes and fashion.’ – Check out this video to see Burberry being brought to life
Here are a few of the things that they have integrated just to get you thinking about potential for your store
1. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips attached to certain clothes and accessories so that when a customer approached on of the screens in a fitting room, specific content – for example information about a bag’s stitching and craftsmanship, or a video showing how a skirt was worn on the catwalk will appear
2. Full length screens are found all over the store, transitioning between displaying audio-visual content, live-streaming hubs (for live events) and mirrors.
3. Lots of residential seating with the highest speed wifi access so that customer can sit down and relax as they might at home or with their laptop/iPad
4. Installed several hundred speakers and built a stage, as well as an in-and-out satellite link so we could stream live shows in, and stream out live gigs – all of which emulates the Burberry Acoustic website
‘Every hour or so — we’re figuring out timing about it still — we’ll basically change the whole store to one thing, have this kind of rainstorm we’ve done with people clicking their fingers, and all of a sudden we’ll dim the lights throughout the whole space and every video screen will suddenly turn to this video we’ve created. Everybody just stops and stares at the screen; we turn the sound up a bit, it becomes entertainment, makes people smile and stop, and then they go back to what they were doing. I think it’s about more than just shopping, exploring’
So how can you bring digital into your shop and join the retail revolution?
POS – forget about traditional next to checkout ‘have you forgotten something’ stands and get creative. By integrating digital screens and RFID you can provide reminders about products that complement those in your customer’s hands, or build upon the experience by showing how those products are worn/used
Twitter screens – If you have a popular following on Twitter why not display a real-time feed from your Twitter account, especially if this is a tool that you use for CRM it would display your transparency towards helping your customers. Be aware though that you must be careful.
In-store competitions – voting for your favourite product in-store, the beauty of this is being able to show in real time the number of votes for different products which not only reinforces positive attitude towards products but also is a fun to increase engagement and capture data from your customers who have visited in-store.
Rewards – not only can you reward customers who visit your store and engage with you on a digital level but also provide points based services – using location based apps you can reward return visitors as well as rewarding them for sharing your in-store content, for example Repinning a photo that you have displayed on a digital board in store.
Mobile apps – the ever growing adoption of smartphone is what makes the majority of what I have written above possible but it is the complexity and potential of mobile apps that could really bring a store to life.
In-store forums – encourage your customers to start discussions live from the store, possibly about products that they just found
Help your customers – digital screens can help with FAQ’s to free up your in-store staff, if they are looking for a product and can’t find it then show them on a map (particularly useful for large shopping stores, groceries in particular)
The list could go on but really it depends on the industry that you are involved in and what your online experience involves for your customers. Take some time, consider the investment in digital retail and if it’s something you want to take further then give us a call for a free consultation.