With a Smartphone in hand and the capability to seek the best deals and make a purchase with the click of a button, strategic shoppers have taken a liking to online shopping and adopted behaviours such as ‘showrooming’, where they browse products in store and use their mobile device to find a better deal and make the purchase. To combat this behaviour, retailers are fighting back by breaking down the barriers between the online and in-store shopping experience.
The digital in-store retail experience is evolving worldwide and will continue to grow. In store retailers are cashing in on digital engagement by immersing customers in an interactive shopping experience. Technologies such as virtual change rooms, touch screens and mobile beacons have emerged in popular stores such as Apple, Sephora and Woolworths. However it takes more than flashy digital hardware to effectively engage customers and drive big results. It is vital that customers are at the centre of the retail journey and the digital experience is built according to customer needs and motivations. If implemented correctly, retailers are able to extend the shopping experience and strengthen the brand-consumer relationship.
The use of beacon technology is a popular strategy retailers are implementing to provide location-based mobile communication with customers. Bluetooth enabled devices are being placed throughout stores and sending signals to smartphones that are within a small radius of the device. If a customers’ Bluetooth is turned off there is opportunity to send geo-fenced alerts that use GPS. Customers can then receive triggered messages with relevant product information, offers or rewards.
Beacons also enable contactless payments, where Radio frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) allows credit/debit cards, smartphones or Apple watches to be held over a reader for payment. This capability is speeding up the checkout process and providing customers with the convenience they desire.
The Burberry Experience
After a 7-year transformation, Burberry have modernised their brand and seamlessly integrated their offline and online worlds to provide customers with a world-class experience. Most recently, Burberry has exceeded customer expectations with the customisation capabilities in their new scarf. The online and in-store scarf bar allows customers to design their own scarf with the choice of over 30 colours and patterns as well as personalised monograms. Additionally, many Burberry products are lined with RFID tags that when triggered, will launch a specific product video on the closest in store screen. When taken to a change room, the tag may trigger a runway video showcasing the item on a model.
These digital capabilities create new ways for customers to connect with a brand and its products, fulfilling desires and transforming the in-store customer experience.
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