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Digitizing the In-Store Experience with Visuals, Music and Scent

Plans to purchase autos and big-ticket appliances ticked up somewhat in May.

One undeniable fact in the dynamic retail landscape reigns true: personalized on-premise experiences drive increased customer engagement. Two-thirds of consumers expect brands to understand their unique needs and expectations.

As the industry evolves, retailers increasingly recognize the immense benefit of tailoring the shopping journey to individual preferences and needs. By curating individualized, immersive encounters for each visitor, businesses can forge deeper connections, foster brand loyalty and ultimately stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The growth of e-commerce has motivated brick-and-mortar retailers to adopt digital technology to create a cohesive shopping journey and streamline the on-premise experience. Digital retail allows personalized recommendations, improved customer service and seamless shopping experiences. As a result, • many retailers are turning to phygital” solutions — or merging digital technology with the physical world — to upgrade the customer experience.

Advertisers are learning to combine visuals, music and scent to create multidimensional experiences that leave a lasting impression. From interactive displays to personalized playlists and curated aromas, retailers can transform how customers perceive and engage with physical retail spaces.

Transforming brick-and-mortar with digital innovations

Examples of technologies retailers are employing to digitize the on-premise experience include:

Dynamic Digital Signage

To inform and influence shoppers effectively, digital signage with visual content must capture attention and create meaningful engagement. Digital signs can effectively introduce new products or menu items, provide updates on special events and invite customers to join loyalty programs. Research shows that signage entices 76% of consumers to enter stores they have never visited previously.

As you strategically position your eye-catching digital displays throughout the store, consider the cohesion between screens or signage and the ambient lighting. Ensure they complement each other and draw customers' intentional line of sight.

Interactive Self-Checkout Kiosks

Responding to customer demands for enhanced convenience and safety, interactive self-checkout kiosks offer a touchless or efficient alternative to traditional checkout processes. Studies reveal 87% of respondents prefer retail stores with robust self-checkout options.

Digital Shelving

Digital shelving goes beyond aesthetics, delivering real value to customers and driving brands ahead of their competition. One study found that 43% of U.S. shoppers notice brand displays on shelves. By offering enhanced product information, personalizing recommendations and informing purchase decisions, digital shelving elevates the on-premise experience.

Digitizing the on-premise shopping experience has emerged as a promising avenue for brands to seize new media opportunities. Most consumers make more purchases on-premise and engage in impulse buying during shopping trips than online shoppers.

Brick-and-mortar shoppers assessed the effectiveness of retail media on-premise digital ads:

  • Over three-quarters of respondents reported a positive impact on their shopping experience;
  • An impressive 82% found on-premise digital ads to be memorable; and
  • More than half made unplanned purchases driven by the ads they encountered.

Leveraging Visual Content and Displays

By leveraging digital content tailored for various media channels and adapting it for on-premise placement, brands can curate a personalized experience that actively engages shoppers and guides them toward desired products on the shelves. The thoughtful integration of visual content and displays not only unlocks the potential for a remarkable on-premise journey but also influences customer engagement and motivation.

Setting the Mood with Music

Music can shape customers' moods, directly impacting their purchasing decisions as they naturally gravitate toward products that align with their current state of mind. To enhance the impact of audio on-premise, its important to curate playlists that resonate with a brand's message.

 By tailoring custom, high-quality soundscapes that align with the store's environmental layout and floor plan, brands can create a cohesive and intriguing audio atmosphere.

Using Scent to Connect Emotionally

Scent marketing, the art of delicately infusing aromas into retail spaces to create a distinct ambiance, has emerged as a powerful tool for brands. Establishing a distinctive scent that customers can easily associate with a particular brand opens pathways to building a solid brand image and fostering lasting connections.

Disney integrates scent into some of its rides to provide consumers with an all-encompassing 4-D experience. "Soarin' Around the World" is a simulated flying attraction that synchronizes aromas with visuals, giving riders the sensation of actually transporting through iconic global destinations.

When constructing phygital experiences, brands must carefully select the right fragrance and ensure its proper placement within the space. By thoughtfully incorporating scent into the retail environment, brands can create multisensory experiences that leave a lasting impression on customers, amplifying emotional connections and reinforcing their brand story.

In Conclusion

With a phygital focus, retailers have the ability to transcend mere transactions and create immersive, unforgettable shopping experiences. By integrating digital technology that harnesses the power of visuals, sounds and scents within physical stores, retailers have the remarkable opportunity to craft attractive "moods" that resonate with their brand values, motivate shoppers to engage and ultimately exceed the expectations of modern consumers.

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