It’s easy to buy a bunch of digital screens and throw them up in your store windows. But does that constitute a genuine in-store digital experience? Maybe, but maybe not. Selling Machine Partners’ Alex Richardson showed us examples of what some particularly innovative retailers are doing in terms of in-store technology. But first, a definition for in-store digital retail innovation:
- It solves a problem.
- It’s remarkable. Offers a “wow” factor.
- It’s notable. Your customer tells his or her friends about it.
Sounds simple enough. Then Richardson showed us a slide show of storefronts with the names blocked out and encouraged us to call out the name of the retailer. Although there were a couple softballs (I believe all 600 of us correctly identified the Apple store), most of the storefronts were surprisingly tough to recognize.
Post-game, Richardson showed us some examples of in-store digital innovations that have upped the ante. First came Ralph Lauren, which revolutionized the storefront window by adding digital signs where consumers could actually purchase items…from just outside the store. Columbia Sportswear added interactive windows, digital kiosks, tech totems and digital signage. The result? During the last holiday season, 3% of the retailer’s sales came from the in-store online purchases. In a non-retail example, NYC’s Lincoln Center advertised Alvin Ailey dance a couple years ago by showcasing dancers in slow motion on screens outside the theater. Sales increased by 25%.
These examples illustrate that it’s possible to improve your sales by investing in in-store digital retail innovation.