Digital engagement dominates retail like never before. Yet for all the screens, kiosks and frontline devices currently in stores around the country, we’ve only just begun the digital journey, one that’s full of possibility for both consumer and retailers alike.
Consider a Swedish concept called The Fitting Room. Customers browse a retailer’s merchandise on an interactive kiosk then try on sample products; shoes, trousers etc. If they like it, they can buy it on the kiosk and have it all delivered to their home. It’s a perfect combination of the physical and digital space - phygital if you will - and it’s a strategy that’s taking hold.
It’s an innovative concept but not a surprising one, given how versatile an interactive kiosk can be. Banks have been using them for years, enabling clients to do some online banking, browse for catalogues that they email to themselves and check out interest rates in the branch - all without having to stand in a queue. This kind of interaction is reshaping the physical look of banks that feel more like a funky art space than the fusty, utilitarian branches of old.
And as digital innovations give rise to new applications and devices, assertive retailers are ready to take advantage. Advertising on in-store digital screens is not exactly new, but the way in which customers interact with them is always changing. Media consultant Mark Boidman sees big changes in consumer behaviour thanks to significant developments in Digital Out Of Home or DOOH. Location based advertising that engages mobile technology to display contextually relevant messaging is the new frontier he says. Combining kiosks and digital signage creates a more engaging experience by displaying the right message to the right person at the right moment in the right location. It’s powerful stuff.
Boidman asserts that in the near future, stores that don’t have display screens to assist customers though their journey, notably younger customers, will loose out. That’s why signage and kiosks matter. They act as a bridge between the physical and digital experience, amplifying brand engagement when it matters most, and encouraging further transactions.
Your Granny might find all this technology far too intrusive but the numbers speak for themselves. Consumers are more likely to engage with content or product if they’ve seen it on a digital screen or kiosk. The more interesting that initial experience is, the stickier the engagement. It’s especially true of younger customers who are more comfortable sharing information in exchange for promotions and recommendations. And all that stickiness translates into a boost in transactions.
Quite simply, any retailer or financial institution that’s not part of this digital transformation risks being left behind. Which takes us back to The Fitting Room - a company that recognises the imperative to do things differently, and recognised how digital is a vital part of that imperative as they reshape themselves for a new decade. There’s a brave new world out there, one in which digital dominates.
Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about kiosks and digital signage for your business.