The next 5 years will be years in which the digital interaction will completely change the relationship between customers and retail stores not only because of the introduction of the Digital Wallet for which I will devote a large post soon, but also because of the benefits that digital will bring: create and control a growing involvement of consumers by improving the relationship between brands and customers.
I wanted to share this article with a friend, Diego Bortolato, a successful architect who for many years is following important customers in developing their plans for Retail. He is increasingly focused on innovation in the management of space and form and therefore the creation of new models of in-store UX.
The discussion was friendly and so interesting (even with the different viewpoints) that I decided to include his arguments, because when it comes to interaction its not only about mouse and clicks, but also about dynamics and functions.
“[...] what you’re talking about is happening for some time, catches me quite prepared in this way because I think much to the influence of new devices and interactive technologies on residential and commercial space but most of the tools, the thing that interests me are the inherent principles, the dynamics connected with them. This leads me to hazard hypothesis, and as such will certainly distort, but never mind.”
The ability to convey the brand experience to the retail is part of the strategy of Global User Experience to keep a constant contact with customers and improve the use of product in its usual context.
“[...] the customer enters the store and a simple sensor connected to the smartphone will inform the seller of his arrival for a withdrawal, measurement, and so on. Thestore will become a place of finalizing the sale, will become a place of inter-change humanized and humanizing that require more space to chat, goods will be less standardized and more space for the report, spaces for conversation and sensory areas to see the materials. Assume new customizations and make a date via the web for an update.”
(Your direction Diego somehow reminds me of Steve Jobs’ risky and premature vision for Apple Store in the late ’80s - see image below)
There are already many cases where big Retail Brands (especially in the fashion industry, see Diesel Cam) develop projects in this direction but the whole market is still in its infancy because the real change materializes when the design of the outlets will consider elements of digital interaction, not only as “furniture” but as carriers of the project for which you need to define a role in the eco-system of the store experience..
“[...] in a positive I guess this means the presence of light hardware (not robots, digital walls, etc.). but something more subtle, structural. Fenomini will see widespread selling, selling as a process that can be easily taken to buying customers, and this is already happening. In the retail system “in toto” there will always be performances of muscle for the brand but also the little shoe shop can and must manage their client from home, inform, exchange views with him. Run of preorders for him, as will the big brands.”
Adidas, Nike and Puma were the first to invest in solutions that enable customers to create their own customized product in stores and collect it on the spot some time later.
The experience gained in 15 years of eStore now seems ready to confront and merge into a new form with the Customer Experience Store, because the potential business begins to take on values that are important in terms of turnover.
“[...] we Adidas and the like, invest large sums, some like the one you saw in the video is at least 50,000 euros, not counting the cost of application development. Great impact, but a purely theatrical use of this support. It ‘s the same thing happened to the giant screens for the first visual reality.
A contribution and relationship with the space very muscular, this happened and will continue to happen with thousands of new shades. Greater integration with thewarehouse, a personal management of the sale from the standpoint of the public is aradical change in the relationship user / buyer with the physical space of the store andthe clerks
The most interesting part was (and still does in reality) the back-end.“
Companies like ZARA and ALL SAINTS in the last 12 months are experimenting with new methods of collaboration between the digital experience outside the store and in-store customer experience by synchronizing the two more ways to create an exact correspondence between what is in store and the one in which there is website, for each geographic area and shop.
This suggests that the tendency is to remove discrepancies between the digital out-store experience and customer in-store experience, even better if the two based on the context in which they are found, can be integrated.
“[...] the bike shop will have plenty of room for bars and for interchange with the mechanics, the mirrors will have virtual fashion, simple but now will also have space for beauty products, seating and not much exposed. (I speakthe small city store )
Great and fundamental importance to acquire the proper design of warehouses, light, color and the food … because in virtualization and full maximum loop iPad, the senses will lead the way for the goods almost disappear from the retail space and slegherà from the slavery of the new model at all costs, you will return to put a measure.
The jeweler will sell its employees, dozens of models, will talk through the web, welcome the customer already knew everything about him, with a rhino app will show the project in the living room of his home / office.“
But this solutions are not only for the big retail brands. Even for small businesses to use interactive displays such as tablet opens horizons for the migration to digital of the traditional streams such as the payment and then tracking the Customer and / or its connection to post-checkout experience / care as example, rewards programs and/or community collaborative experience.
Several months ago we also reviewed the IKEA Augmented Reality project ( IKEA APP AR ) in which the customer could direct his/her smartphone in their living environment prior to purchasing and evaluate it’s visual impact in the space space.
This is something that requires a lot of time to talk about but this app is certainly a good start.
Thanks again to Diego for the very interesting chat.