In-store digital tech: Sometimes sticky stuff is good for you
Do a Google search for ‘sticky’ and you get 30 tips on how to remove residue. But there are times when we really need and want ‘stickiness’. In retail we need to embrace, relish, and encourage viscidity. In a world where consumers connect and disconnect with retailers in seconds, we need to make the most of every contact, whether virtual or physical.
Looking at the role of technology in relation to the physical store experience, there are multiple opportunities to generate a glue to build relationships, encourage consideration, and drive engagement.
When thinking about how best to mesh digital technology and physical shops, retailers need to look deeper than the oft-used tablets/kiosks or monitors that display a basic promotional broadcast. Both of these channels have a place, but if you want to maximise the continued investment in bricks and mortar there’s a much greater prize to aim for – to explore how digital relates to the environment. This approach builds deeper relationships, adding more value to the customer journey at every touchpoint.
So how can we use digital technology as part of the physical retail experience in a way that’s both disruptive and useful to shoppers? The starting point must be to understand your customer needs, and then leverage technology to solve those needs.
For example, the reasoning behind Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is probably that the distribution model adds further value to its Prime customers. Or maybe it’s about human behavioural insights, as demonstrated in Charlotte Tilbury stores where digital mirrors allow people to share their makeover on Social Media – quite literally a beautiful way to create a ‘me too’ agenda and ultimately drive footfall to the brand’s products and services.
Digital technology can generate multiple reasons to believe in a retailer’s proposition. It can encourage highly demanding customers to invest their precious time in a brand, creating the stickiness that gives retailers the opportunity to tell their story. There are five constants to be aware of:
- Interactivity: Be useful and understand shopper needs, not your targets.
- Connectivity: Essential to ensure the relationship endures beyond the store, and creates those all-important sharing opportunities.
- Disruptiveness: Use technology to interrupt shopper missions or mindsets and add another dimension to their experience.
- Convenience: Make sure it’s easy to adopt and adds value to your customers.
- Reliability: Test and test again. Then have a solid process and the right resources to address tech problems, because store staff are not IT support.
The big win, of course, is data collection. The more you do, the more you will understand what a shopper wants and needs from you. You create a continuous feedback loop that helps you stay relevant to customers across all touchpoints. Ultimately this will boost your performance, business growth and bottom line.
Photo credit: Pexel.com – Ghost Presenter