Reaching the 21st Century Retail Customer
The screens of today's smartphones and tablets offer high pixel density and incredible color reproduction. Some phones even offer comparable quality to glossy print — these screens are now reliable enough to present a higher quality experience for users. For retailers and brands, this means that they can now offer deeply engaging brand-led experiences with stunning, interactive imagery and video across mobile and tablet devices.
Furthermore, new screens are constantly coming onto the market, with different sizes and different resolutions. While these images can complement and unlock the latent value across traditional channels, the challenge now for brands is ensuring that the customer has a consistent perception of the brand, unrelated to the channel they're using.
Tingling the Senses
Part of the fun of the in-store experience is the ability to touch and feel products before making a purchase. This is taken for granted when shopping in-store, and the lack of physical interaction is one of the biggest (and obvious) drawbacks of shopping online. Replicating that personal experience online adds an additional aspect to customer interactions and ultimately helps create a satisfying experience. The availability of smart devices means brands can now use a range of sensory inputs alongside the visual (e.g., touch and sound). When an object moves or changes state, sounds can reinforce this the same way they do in-store.
Brands are slowly adopting the technology that allows them to replicate in-store experiences, such as understanding how a product moves and changes states or sounds. This level of production and immersive experience isn't yet commonplace, however, today's smart retailers realize the importance of raising the bar in their customer experience.
Keeping it Fun
Games are by far the largest market for mobile and tablet content, as well as the most engaging experience available on these platforms. E-commerce experiences on these devices can gain a lot from the interactive design, production value, focus on playfulness and satisfying experience of games. In digital marketing and e-commerce, some game-like interactions are already beginning to be used. For example, the processes of product discovery, recommendations, combination or configuration can all be made into playful journeys that take the interaction with the customer to the next level.
Rory Dennis, Co-Founder & GM, North America, Amplience
Rory co-founded Amplience and is GM of Amplience in the United States, developing Amplience's presence in North America. Rory previously worked as Business Development Manager for O2 Telefonica's Interactive Media Team.