Experiential Retail Made Smarter

You don’t need to be a visionary to know that experiential retail is the future.

Delivering a memorable experience should be top of every physical retailer’s list. But as with every worthwhile change, like starting a workout plan or getting rid of a mullet, success starts with a change in mindset. 

The clue to the ailing mindset behind traditional stores can be found in what we call them. The word for ‘store’ has roots in the Medieval Latin ‘staurum.’ The meaning ‘place where goods are kept for sale’ can be traced back to a more recent year, 1721. 

And therein lies the inconvenient truth. 

Most individuals in modern society aren’t buying bulk. Until the zombie apocalypse, we won’t be stocking up on tinned beans.

Instead, the average person now has at least 15 different types of beans along with a billion other product choices at their fingertips, thanks to E-commerce. That’s more immediate options than the number of unique lines making up their fingerprint. 

More and more of these ID fingerprints are being used to approve simple transactions, securing basic household goods on consumer’s screens without them ever visiting a store. And with the Internet of Things (IoT) set to become a household word, well-equipped homes all over the world will be the ones doing the purchasing. 

As you can see, the more technologically empowered society is to get what it needs when it needs it, the more likely it is that the only kind of storage people will need is on their iCloud. 

So. Why do shoppers need “stores” again?

Well, they don’t. But they do need things, want to be entertained, and will buy said things while they’re at it. 

Thanks to Computer Vision technology, space once used for hoarding stock can now be used in exciting new ways- ways that create memorable experiences, communicate important information about the products on offer and discover more about customers.

Yes, technology has in part taken away the need for the traditional store. But with the right mindset, new smart technology can be leveraged to collect insights on shopping behavior that in turn informs retailers on how to provide new compelling reasons for shoppers to visit. 

How Computer Vision is converting stores into experiential spaces:

  • In Augmented Reality 

Computer vision algorithms electronically perceive and understand imagery from camera sensors that can inform AR systems about the user and their surroundings.  Augmented reality then imbues product displays with a new dimension of interactivity, adding to the customer experience. 

“In-aisle innovation is shifting how we perceive the future of retail, opening the possibilities of what can be done to shape customer experiences.”

Trevor Sumner, CEO of Perch Interactive

Perch Interactive is an interactive retail display platform uniting physical products with digital content to engage shoppers, analyze behavior, & drive sales.

It’s fun to watch, so have a look. (We weren’t paid to say this- it’s genuinely interesting!) 

The use of augmented reality allows shoppers to imagine the product in the environment of their own lifestyle as if they owned it. This is a key customer desire. In fact, virtual try-on for clothing items rank in the top 5 of tech-driven retail experiences that customers want. 

  • In Customer Analytics

Computer Vision works behind the scenes to provide retailers with customer analytics. With visitor consent, intelligent optical sensors identify and process the information on shoppers and their journeys in order to gain insights on which parts of the experience need refining or re-strategizing. 

Take in-store interactions, a physical retail cornerstone, for example.  According to Red Ant’s White Paper on the Experiential store, one John Lewis store reported that just 6 personal stylists generated a notable 20% of all womenswear sales in 2018. 

To achieve results such as these, Customer Analytics can be used to empower the sharing of inspiration and advice that can only come from interpersonal relationships. It does this by providing retailers with relevant information so that better decisions can be made regarding shift planning, training in personalized approaches, etc.

Other areas of investigation which reveal optimization opportunities would be understanding the demographics of your visitors, how they are impacted by store displays, floor plans, and new marketing materials. Everything within a retail store is an investment, so customer analytics ascertains ROI in order to improve it.

The road from “staurum” to “destination” may seem long. However, with a mind to explore tech’s new ways to work with customers through innovations such as Computer Vision, you can shape the future of retail today.

Visit Vision.gl for more

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