A Case for Next-Gen Digital Executions In-Store
It’s an exciting time in retail. Increasingly, we’re seeing formerly digital-only retailers like Warby Parker, YETI and Casper begin to build out physical brick-and-mortar storefronts. The space is rapidly evolving and there’s huge opportunity for forward-thinking innovators to move the needle. As consumers continue to shift their purchasing habits, it’s more important than ever that retailers step up their game with digital-savvy in-store executions tailored for next generation’s tastemakers.
More and more we’re seeing big brands curate their spaces to cater to the Gen Z crowd, a generation that has never known a world without the internet or cell phones. These digital natives hold immeasurable purchasing power and they’re acutely tuned into mobile-focused technologies. Ultimately, every touchpoint along the consumer journey must be considered, both inside and out.
Whether your store is freestanding or situated in a strip mall, first impressions are paramount. From the vantage point of window shoppers, video walls at the rear are increasingly being used to entice consumers into stores with ambient, atmospheric content. Take the Pac-Sun flagship in Times Square, for example. Huge outdoor screens feature a live stream of the ocean with larger-than-life crashing waves. From blocks away, well before potential shoppers cross the threshold, customers can anticipate that they’re about to enter a digitally savvy, relaxing space with a curated shopping experience.
Once inside a retail establishment, directional digital signage delivers customized, laser-focused messaging while LED-lit digital shelving units attract eyes with motion. Cameras can identify if shoppers entered from the left or right, parking lot or food court. They have the capacity to discern between families and individuals shopping alone. Messaging is becoming more and more relevant and can be acutely tailored to the shopper, rather than the all-encompassing shotgun blast messaging of yesteryear.
Similarly, we’re seeing a move toward smart content leveraging RSS data feeds. Thunderstorm in the forecast? Screens will advertise rain boots. Heatwave on the horizon? We’ll see pictures of summer sandals cued up. Brands can use a hands-off approach that’s still highly tailored by tying ZIP codes and RSS feeds to advertising content.
Interactive Touch Screens
Interactive screens serve up style guides and allow shoppers to customize products, while “Endless Aisle” order fulfillment facilitates online purchases in-store. Touch screens enable shoppers to continue perusing merchandise online to nab additional sizes and colors not currently in stock within the store. Touch screens are just one more tool tailored for the Gen Z crowd, who has grown to expect a highly customized and digitally enabled experience.
Focus on Data and Analytics
Marketers can use the solutions offered to make better decisions on everything from product placement to timely deals, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. By leveraging analytics and reporting tools, retailers can implement and then track the impact of these digital innovations, and make adjustments accordingly to achieve continuous improvements.
By the numbers, 70 percent of shoppers already have their eyes fixed to in-store screens while waiting in line at retail. That’s a lot of eyeballs. In this new era of digital technology, it’s just as important for retailers to control brick-and-mortar environments as it is for their online presence. There’s a reason why 40 percent of brands are using cutting-edge digital solutions to increase shopper loyalty and customer retention. The question is, will your brand innovate alongside this new generation and take advantage of the vast opportunity that digital signage affords? There are multitudes of nuanced ways in which retailers can elevate the customer experience via digital marketing, putting tech-savvy shoppers in the mood to buy and keep coming back.
Trey Courtney is the chief product officer at Mood Media, an in-store media solutions company dedicated to elevating the customer experience.