(Picture source: jeshoots.com)
Technology is undeniably becoming a huge part of our lives and it is giving brick and mortar store some serious competition with the surge of online retailers. So what can a store owner do to stay ahead? Rather than trying to compete with online retailers at their game, why not bring the technology to your customers instead?
We cannot stress this enough, but experience is one of the main aspects of modern day retail strategy and with the current technology innovations, you can use it to your advantage to enhance your store experience. Technology implementation in store design is still rather scarce in the market, so it will serve as a great way to intrigue customers with fresh and new ideas. In the recent years, there has been lots of new innovation in retail technology such as interactive devices, easy mobile payments, AR (augmented reality) technology, etc., giving retailers the flexibility to customize based on their needs to create unique and personalized experiences for their customers.
AR technology is one that is especially worth exploring into. It has been around for several years but not many people paid attention to the technology until much recently. With the current craze of Pokemon Go that has shed more light to this technology, people are more aware of its capabilities and are more open to utilizing it. It serves as a great interactive technology that allows customers to immerse in a store experience that is specifically designed for your store, and with most people possessing a mobile device these days, it makes it much easier for retailers to implement this technology into their space. According to Daily Mail, most people on average spend about 5 hours a day browsing on their mobiles (Source: Daily Mail), and they will most likely do so at some point when they are in your stores, so why not take advantage of the situation? Here are a couple of examples of how other retailers have used the technology in their retail business:
- Ikea (click here to watch video):
Ikea has created an app for their 2014 catalogue which allows customers to utilize the Ikea catalogue to be placed around the house which would then be converted into a virtual furniture through the screen to help customers better visualize how the furniture will look like in their room before making the purchase.
- Lego (click here to watch video):
Often times, customers tend to prefer to see an actual product to help them visualize, but having multiple sample units around the store can be rather costly. So instead, Lego has created what they call a Digital Box whereby customers can bring their desired Lego product to the machine and the camera will scan the image and produce an augmented 3D model on screen for customers to see how the product would turn out in real life.
- Hugo Boss (click here to watch video):
Hugo Boss brings a whole different experience to window shopping. Rather than just having products displayed along their window in hopes to attract customers, they created an interactive experience to engage customers which motivates them to stop and interact with the store, and taking it a step further, they then offer prizes for a few lucky winners to be redeemed in-store which would help drive customers into their outlet.
There are endless options of technological innovations readily available in the market with more coming up in the near future and it all depends on how you want to use it to your advantage to bring out a distinctive experience in your store. With the society becoming increasingly dependent on technology, including technology into the design of your stores will help close the gap between online and offline, enhancing customer’s shopping experience and keeping your business relevant in the modern age.