Incorporating Touch Technology Into the Retail Environment
The retail industry has drastically changed over the years, forcing businesses to rethink how to meet the needs of customers. According to Forrester, 90 percent of customer experience decision makers say that a good experience is critical to their success, with 63 percent believing that the importance of the customer experience has risen.
The need to leave a lasting impression is greater than ever, and as a result, retailers have turned to solutions like touch technology to create personalized experiences. However, due to the diversity of this technology, one size doesn't fit all. Before incorporating touch technology into an organization, retailers must first identify the business needs, understand the target customer and determine the desired end result.
What Are Your Business Needs?
There are endless options when it comes to choosing the right touch technology to engage consumers. Solutions come in different sizes, can be used in different locations and even offer various lighting options to appeal to a buyer. Interactive video walls, for example, are highly customizable and can allow multiple users to interact with select content at one time while delivering personalized content to each individual.
For example, The Intel Experience was integrated into 50 Best Buy stores to showcase the various ways technology can assist consumers throughout their daily lives. The objective of this installation was to educate customers, engage their imaginations and develop stronger brand awareness that would ultimately lead to the purchasing of Intel-based devices. The business case for this installation was clearly mapped out with an obvious desired outcome for the technology giant.
Who is Your Customer?
Identifying who the customer is and what they want upon entering the store is also critical. Are customers more likely to browse the entire store first before they select a product of interest? Do they want to easily compare features of one product to another? Understanding the behavior of a customer allows businesses to make informed decisions about what technology will be ideal.
Take for instance Zipps Sports Grill in Arizona. Standing out among competitors and offering a unique experience for its sports fanatic customers was a challenge, so owner Todd Goldman installed a large moveable video wall. Nine of the screens can join together to create one large screen for popular sporting events. Alternatively, four screens can come together while the other five displays remain on the outside to show separate games. The sports bar understood its audience's needs and developed an interactive environment that would accommodate the viewing of multiple sporting events.
What's the End Result?
With new touch technologies, companies are now able to dig deep and gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers. Reporting features and analytics that track user questions and detail spending habits allow businesses to develop a more personalized experience from start to finish. Imagine an interactive display remembering your buying habits and suggesting clothing that's representative of your style. For a retailer, that's a pretty strong end result of having touch technology in place. As the inclusion of touch technology in retail environments continues to grow, we might soon find that these installations in fact know us better than we know ourselves.
Jonathan Priestley is the vice president of marketing for MultiTaction, a developer of interactive display systems, based on proprietary software and hardware designs.