Retail Technology at the Speed of Changehttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/RetailTech_Header.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Both in a constant state of change, retail and technology go hand in hand. But with all the shiny options it’s increasingly important that brands navigate the constant evolution by considering what’s best for the brand as well as the customer. Organizations need to be clear about where to invest time and money and how far to push the limits.
When working with clients, we’re big believers in incorporating purposeful retail technology to solve a problem that once caused friction and, in the end, enhance the customer experience in-store.
We took a look at brands that we believe are striking the right tech balance while maintaining their brand purpose.
Make Data Work
The Nike Live store is taking a similar approach to Amazon Go, but applying it to retail and customer engagement. The store serves to cater to NikePlus members, and change how they shop entirely. It also attracts new loyal club members, because, well, who doesn’t want to “unlock” more from the retail experience? What makes this new store experience so unique is that the product merchandise is stocked based on local customer interests. Utilizing the member data, Nike is changing assortment by analyzing buying and browsing patterns from the Nike app.
Ecommerce brands going brick-and-mortar is a perfect example of how to engage shoppers in a way that online only shopping just can’t accomplish. Data collection, integrated within the customer experience, brings new KPIs to retailers’ attention. Athleisure brand Fabletics has a proprietary system that allows associates to check-in members at the store and recommend new products. During product launches, the store becomes a testing ground to gage any issues, like size or style, which will then aid the online product positioning.
Aid The Shopping Journey
Sam’s Club and AI don’t always seem much of a likely pair, but the bulk grocery company is tapping into a new wave of shopping. Their new store is testing voice search, image recognition, AI-supported wayfinding, interactive shopping lists, and scan and go check out. Making the typical trip to the store a breeze through Sam’s Club Now.
We’re big fans of Nike’s new Innovation House NY, and we love the mobile to store connection. Shoppers can request product from their Nike App that can be picked up in the Nike Pickup area of the store. No need to track down someone to get the product for you. Scan the product and request. It’s as easy as that. Shoppers can also reserve products at home and access them from a self-service locker. Shopping simplified.
The new Neiman Marcus at Hudson Yards in NYC is an IRL (in real life) Mecca of beauty, fashion, and social fun. A full event space will host fashion shows, speaking events, book signings that encourage shoppers to visit in person. Giving them more reasons to visit other than making a transaction. Blow-out and nail services are available in the expanded BLVD beauty salon. Neiman allows shoppers to customize their experience through technology interaction. Shoppers can use touchscreens to adjust the fitting room lighting, request sizes from a team member, or even pay for their selected goods. The Rockbot audio app is used to vote on songs to play in-store, giving users a role in the overall experience of the store.
Podcasts are hitting a high frequency for shoppers looking for the latest in fashion, beauty, and technology. It’s no surprise that retailers are jumping in and providing their perspective and creating engaging conversations. Sephora tapped into the podcasts realm, hosting in-store live recordings with series like Glowing Up and #Lipstories. Balancing their beauty authority with in-store activations that aren’t just about the product transactions makes them a go-to source of useful beauty content.
As technology continues to change and shoppers expect more from their connections with the brands they love, the interactivity between retail technology and in person experience becomes more important than ever.