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Settling the New Frontier: How Retailers can Pave the Path to Purchase


Incorporating digital components into the physical store is the next frontier for retailers. You see, customers’ expectations have grown while their attention spans have shrunk. Some reports have even found that goldfish (yes, you read that right, goldfish) have a longer attention span than humans.

To pique shoppers’ interest and lead them into the store, innovative retailers have begun to test the waters with new digital technologies, from beacons to RFID to digital signage and more. Look no further than Adidas Golf and the company’s use “Lift and Learn” technology in its Canadian locations. Shoppers can easily compare and instantly access additional product details at the point of decision without solely relying on busy sales associates.

But where should you begin, and which technologies are essential as you get started?

Here are three tips for successfully settling in:

Build a strategic war chest

When looking at which digital technologies will strengthen your in-store experience, one essential piece that serves as the cornerstone of interactive and engaging encounters is digital signage.

More than just a variation of paper signage, digital signage can easily be woven into brick-and-mortar store design, and grab and hold consumers’ attention more effectively. In fact, video analytics have proven that digital signage has the power to drive an 89% increase in views and 52% increase in attention time over paper signage.

Always leave a lasting customer impact

Seventy-four percent of US-based retailers today believe that developing a more engaging in-store customer experience is going to be critical. To do this, you should look to create a layered digital ecosystem that takes advantage of multiple form factors and technologies, and weave them together to create a seamless and engaging customer experience.

One company that has done this well is Madam Tussauds. The company’s Times Square location in New York City recently wanted to find a new way to entice people in from the sidewalk. Working with key trusted partners, Madame Tussauds installed a larger-than-life 13x12 foot LED screen in the lobby that spotlights current exhibits and stuns passersby. The installation has improved traffic, brand awareness, and ultimately, increased foot traffic into the museum.

But, remember, don’t implement digital elements into your stores just for the sake of doing digital. The goal of creating a positive, immersive and engaging customer experience must be paramount and ever present in your mind as you bring your stores to life, blending the online and offline experiences.

Bring it all to life

As shoppers’ expectations have increased, they have come to anticipate that retailers will approach them with personalized, 1:1 messages that reflect their history and relationship with the brand, as well as the items they’re interested in at that moment.

To leverage real-time behaviors and customer preferences to optimize messages, you can employ beacons, mobile apps, or RFID technology. All of these options provide a proven way to measure where a shopper is, how much time she is spending on an item, determine her past purchase history, understand what size she’s looking for, identify related items for upsell opportunities, and more. It all depends on the approach you want to take.

No matter which path you choose, digital signage provides the opportunity to bring the online experience to life and deliver meaningful in-store experiences that won’t be forgotten any time soon. Whether you’re looking to build an interactive style advisor that helps sales associates make more on-trend outfit recommendations or rollout RFID sensor-enabled holders to take shopper engagement with products to the next level, or experiment with beacon technology and mobile apps to bring the online experience into the store, digital signage ties it all together and helps to deliver a seamless path to purchase.

Dina Townsend is VP of Retail for Scala, a leader in intelligent digital communications solutions.

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