In-store marketing technologies have started making their way into the retail space and 2014 saw a number of large retailers and brands take the initial steps to use new technologies in their brick and mortar stores in a bid to rival the growing online e-commerce market. 2015 is likely to see these technologies take off and make their way into more offline stores.
Here are a few trends we see gathering some momentum this year with a brief overview of each of these interesting trends:
1) Digital signage
Digital signage kiosks can be placed across retail stores providing shoppers with up-to-date information and ongoing promotions. The kiosk with 3D advertising capabilities allows shoppers to print coupons on the promotional offerings running and also gives brand marketers a chance to showcase their products. The digital signage kiosk is very convenient and makes system management easy with its automatic and dynamic content update capabilities.
2) Beacon marketing
Beacon marketing helps marketers connect with consumers while they’re in-store with an unmatched opportunity to engage with them. The indoor mobile marketing platform triggers messages and offers from the retailers and brands into the customer’s smartphone while they are inside the store. Beacon marketing has relatively low cost, high targeting capability and helps drive sales as well as information to shoppers.
3) Interactive touch display and sales assistance
The interactive touch display and sales assistance are basically virtual sales assistants that help shoppers in locating the brand and assisting with the offers and about the wide range available in the store. These virtual sales assistant uses its artificial intelligence system to show shoppers where merchandise can be found. Interactive displays are placed around the store which displays high-definition graphics which serve to inspire the customers to buy much the way they would in a digital environment but with all the advantages of being in a brick and mortar store.
4) In-store digital signage and location-based services
It provides centralized management of in-store product promotions. Giving out special offers, coupons, and promotional messages also help in-store navigation. It can easily be updated with a touch of a button and coordinated with other marketing channels. These services often use technologies like Wi-Fi and geo-fencing to connect with consumers, helping them locate products easily, and also giving location-based product suggestion.
5) Image Search
This will allow the shopper to search the merchandise assortment on the website of the store by taking and submitting a picture of any item he wishes to buy. The visual search will take the customer to similar items on the retailer’s website, where they can be purchased bridging the online and offline store environments.
6) Buy Online, Pickup in Store
This trend is fast catching up. It allows customers to buy items online and pick them up at a store nearby. This avoids shipping and scheduled delivery charges and the customer gets his order faster. It’s very convenient as the customer can return or get the item exchanged at the store itself without having the trouble to ship it back.
7) Digital price tags
Digital tags are hassle free as they allow you update the prices on the computer and they roll out across the store. Price changes are received through wireless from the store’s network, it ensures that the price displayed on the shelf and the one called up at the checkout counter are the same. The tags provide multiple screens of information. It allows the store to offer discounts without having to put a new price label.
8) Mobile wallets
A mobile wallet allows customers to store and access offers and coupons virtually. It manages mobile commerce services, supports payment cards, loyalty cards, vouchers etc. It enables the user to manage digital commerce services securely via SIM card in their cell phones. The consumers can use the mobile wallet to validate tickets, redeem vouchers, make transactions, and use multiple loyalty services.
9) Smart fitting rooms
The smart fitting room will change the face of retail stores as they allow customers to scan merchandise items to view colors and sizes available with the help of wall-mounted tablets inside the fitting room. Customers can tap a button to call for assistance from a sales associate without leaving the room, to request for another color or size in items they like.
10) Video wall
The large-scale display systems create unique and an engaging experience that makes an unforgettable impact on the customers. It offers an unmatched combination of breathtaking beauty, unprecedented scalability, and best visual experience.
11) The Mobile Checkout
Mobile checkout is an application for your cell phone or tablet which can be used to make payments without the use of your desktop. It provides payment pages tailored for faster checkout designed for smaller mobile screens and keyboards. It allows you to use your credit and debit cards securely for any transactions.
12) Mobile merchandising
Mobile merchandising enables shoppers to interact with their shopping environment and physical products on the shelves using their smartphones. They usually make use of technologies like QR code hang tags, QR code labels, barcodes or NFC stickers which help the customer trigger additional product information, promotions, coupons and other rich content so they can make more informed decisions while also keeping them engaged.
What are the other in-store retail trends you see making a splash this year?