Innovative ways to integrate technology in bricks-and-mortar stores

4 Comments | This entry was posted in Education, Events, Marketing, Retail Companies, Retail Trends, Technology

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:

  1. It solves a problem.
  2. It’s remarkable. Offers a “wow” factor.
  3. 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.

Posted in: Education | Events | Marketing | Retail Companies | Retail Trends | Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Posted July 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I definitely think that staying unique and different is a way to increase sales and promote word-of-mouth advertising. It’s very easy for a store or product to go viral just from people talking about it and that comes from stores or products that are unique and haven’t been seen before.

  2. Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Seems strange that people would go to a store just to buy an item online. Do you suppose that it was because the store didn’t have the item in stock? 3% is not that much but still way more than I would have expected.

  3. Posted October 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Stephen is correct. The only way to stay in the game, is to make yourself standout. Whether is flashy signage or extremely unique products/markets. When people see something unique, it causes a chatter among them, and almost anything can go viral at that point. There is so much word-of-mouth advertising on the net now, having the “hey, look at me” approach is the first step to getting your products/brands seen by the public.

    As for Joe@ Simple Web Chat’s comment.
    I have wished for an auto teller in many of the stores I shop at now, simply for ease of checkout. I like to buy things online, but there are those items that are better bought in person.

    Example: I don’t like buying clothing online so much anymore, because online pictures don’t always show your the quality of the products very well. When looking at a web image, you can’t really tell the thickness of the fabric, so you could be paying $100 for a thin Wal-Mart type t-shirt.

    I’ve since started going into the stores to buy these types of items, but would prefer to checkout at an autoteller, so I don’t have to deal with salespeople.

    Just my two cents.

  4. Posted June 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I recently read about making this type of signage interactive. A web camera would recognize when someone was in front of the product, determine the age and gender, and present a message that would be tailored to that demographic! Talk about taking digital technology to the next level…

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