How Interactive Displays Are Changing the Shopping Experience
Brick-and-mortar stores have a tough time competing with the Internet shopping experience these days. Consumers can read product reviews online, find other sites where products are cheaper, search for other colors, and possibly even get distracted by a competing brand with a similar product.
So marketers are looking for savvy ways to get customers into stores and buying their items, and interactive technology seems to be the new go-to strategy for many big brands.
The Rise of the Interactive Window Display
The Nike House of Innovation in London is a perfect example of the lengths that companies will go to just to get your attention. This experimental store lit up Selfridges last summer with cool, tech-savvy window displays that allowed their customers to interact with them just by walking past the windows.
Lightshows, dancing balls, a vertical jump measurement – all of these Kinect-powered exhibits magically moved or changed as shoppers ambled by. But is that enough to get you to purchase a pair of $100 high-tops? Maybe. Because tech companies are starting to look into custom creative displays like this, plenty of brands are also trying it.
Using Kinect for Windows, Wirestone Labs developed an interactive window display to reflect back a digitized video of people walking by their windows. They tested how people responded to the displays using social media hashtags at an art show in Sacramento and found “strong brand affinity.”
Although there doesn’t seem to be a ton of research out yet on how these assumedly expensive displays will affect purchasing decisions, positive initial results like this mean that you’ll definitely be seeing more of this in the future. It’s already being seen from giants like LEGO and Nordstrom as well.
In-Store Interactions to Increase Sales
Other companies are focusing less on getting customers into the store and more on making sure they purchase something once they’ve made it inside. In-store interactive technology seems to be on the rise as well, with innovative techniques for trying things on and learning more about a product.
Adidas’s interactive dressing room lets customers flip through racks of clothes, and select items for a digital model to try on. Customers can then add these products to their smartphone shopping cart and check out online – all without an app, which really is a revolutionary way to integrate both the in-store and online shopping experience.
Other stores just let the customers play. Again using the Kinect, Build-a-Bear focused on their young audience with a number of in-store interactive games designed to turn their brick-and-mortar store into a retail playground. It all comes back to the idea that keeping people engaged and happy in your store will increase foot traffic and sales.
For the techy consumers out there, these cool interactive experiences provide just one more reason to get off the couch, shut down their laptop and head to the mall.
— By Adrienne Ziegler
Known to her friends and colleagues as “Dree,” Adrienne Ziegler is a self-proclaimed nerd who wants to try everything once. She works for a technology company in Ann Arbor, Michigan and enjoys hiking, running, kayaking, throwing music events and artsy-crafty stuff.