• Digital Technology in Physical Spaces

    why it’s more important than ever to go digital in-store

The recent boom in technology has got traditional brick and mortar retailers questioning their purpose in the market.

More consumers are now choosing to shop online vs in-store.

Nowadays, consumers can access goods straight from their phones without even having to get up. But why would people go to the effort of leaving home to stand in long queues, just to buy something they can get online? E-commerce stores often provide the same high street products at a more competitive price, with next or even same day delivery.

So why would consumers go in-store  if the experience they receive is no different to the one they get online?

What is experiential retail?

The recent boom in online sales has left traditional retailers looking for new ways to reach customers. Research is suggesting that experience is the way forwards.

Experiential retail approaches customers in a new way. Instead of filling a shop with just products to sell, brands are more inclined to include installations that help portray their brand image and values.

Three ways experiential retail is different to conventional retail…

  1. Experiential retail is about providing immersive in-store or pop-up experiences.  Focusing on engaging existing and potential customers with the brand and its products.
  2. Experiential retail focuses on prioritising personalised customer engagement with the brand, over sales.
  3. Experiential retail works hard to stimulate all of the 5 senses in order to make a long-lasting impression on the consumer.

Experiential retail is all about in store experiences that make one brand stand out from another.

Picture this;

You go into a regular bath-bomb shop and all of the products are displayed on the shelves. No scent. No visual representation. No touching….

You go into LUSH. You smell their 29 High Street scent pumped through store. You can visually see bath bombs fizzing away. You can try their products to see how they feel for you…

I know where I’d rather spend my money…

But experiential retail isn’t just about trying before you buy or coming out of a shop smelling like you work there. Providing an in-store experience can range from art installations to interactive display screens, and virtual reality to large video display walls.

Why is it important?  

Providing your customers with the opportunity to physically experience your brand brings it to life. 73% of consumers suggest a good experience is a key factor in influencing brand loyalty. Loyal customers are also five times more likely to purchase again, and four times more likely to recommend the brand to a friend.

Examples of digital technology providing experience

  • Apps

Integrating apps into screens in-store lets customers virtually interact with products by reading reviews, watching tutorials or ordering products.

Some brands also provide apps that can be brought to life in store which often leads to consumers sharing to their social media = earned social media!

  • Facial Recognition

Facial recognition gives customers the opportunity to virtually try on products like lipstick and eyeliner (great for minimal interaction during a COVID pandemic), as well as other consultation services like face mapping.

Facial recognition also enables brands to provide a more personalised in-store experience by analysing their consumer to improve retail environments and future marketing campaigns.

  • Digital Screens

On recent years digital screens have been deployed into retail environments in a number of ways.

8 out of 10 shoppers enter a store because of a digital signage – whether it be a huge shop front digital wall, or in-store touch screens providing product interaction.

  • Touch-free technology

Perhaps now more than ever, this tech revolution is a brilliant way to create an immersive tech experience. Customer can virtually interact with products on screens just through their head movements and facial expressions! 

  • Smart Mirrors

Research suggests smart mirrors are the new big thing! Interactive changing rooms have already deployed onto shop floors across the UK by big brands like Nike and Reformation.

Smart mirrors also allow for technology like ‘virtual try on’, seen in Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic mirrors.

Sports Direct have also taken a different approach to smart mirrors by deploying inurface media solutions to produce a ‘selfie mirror’…

How can inurface media help?

Over the past few months more and more brands have been approaching us here at inurface HQ to see how we can help them transform their physical space into an interactive experiential location.

Luckily for us, we have a range of software solutions and hardware, as well as an amazing content creation team – so we really can turn your visions into reality.

In todays market retailers need to do all they can to stay relevant. Creating effective, interactive, personalised experiences seems to be the way forwards. Are you ready to take the leap? Contact us today to see how our audio visual solutions can bring your physical space to life!