There’s been a lot of buzz recently about the ‘grand rebirth of retail.’ While this might be just a bit over the top, it is still quite refreshing to hear so many positive and optimistic takes on the industry. Many of the retailers I speak with on a daily basis agree that technology is here to stay and that, in order to compete with the growing competition of online shopping and e-commerce, they need to make innovative changes in terms of how retail technology is used. Although most retailers know changes need to be made, many are still unsure of what to do or where to start. We’re here to tell you that tech focused retail displays create shopper synergy and and occupy the attention of the retail target. But, it must be done correctly to see the benefits
One of the biggest mistakes I see retailers making is thinking that retail technology and data is solely an IT department issue. When it comes to tech-focused fixtures and displays in retail, it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation. Whether your team is looking at geo-fencing, AI, or augmented reality, everyone from management to sales to marketing to, yes, IT should have a hand in how a retail organization is going to transform a physical space to increase customer engagement and boost revenue.
Whether your team is just getting started with tech-powered fixtures and displays or if you’re looking to take your innovative stores to the next level, here are some dos and don’t to keep in mind:
DO partner with a fixture vendor that understands the retail space and the technology. Make sure they have a proven track record of success (start by checking their social media accounts for example), a strong support and troubleshooting services arm, and are ready and able to help your team reach your goals.
DON’T kid yourself into just thinking the digital transformation in retail is a fad and will pass quickly. If your team doesn’t adapt and implement some sort of innovative response to competitors, your store will quickly become irrelevant in the mind of consumers.
DONT’ think that this digital investment won’t benefit your customers in any way. Tech-powered fixtures and displays aren’t just a marketing ploy. Today’s Millennial and Gen Z consumers have grown up in a tech-driven environment and will appreciate your innovative approach.
DO structure your display and plan your campaign in a way that makes technology fun for everyone, not just younger consumers. Nothing is worse than feeling left out in the cold or that you’re misunderstood by a retailer. Be sure to have a strategy that appeals to a broad audience.
DON’T start out your strategy sessions thinking that technology-focused retail fixtures and displays are the responsibility of the IT department. While there should be one project manager on the campaign, every single department should be involved.
DO leverage technology that is easy to use and intuitive for the consumer. Start out by asking yourself if this is something your grandparents could figure out. Consumers shouldn’t have to waste time figuring out to use your displays, they should be able to use your new digital fixtures to save time and optimize the customer experience.
DO give your new digital fixtures adequate space in your store in a prominent location. Don’t hide your display away in a corner. If you’re making the leap into this digital transformation, be loud and proud about it!
DON’T over-extend the lifecycle of your current technology. Traditionally, the lifecycle of a retail fixture has been about 7 years or so. With newer tech-focused fixtures and digital displays, this lifecycle is much shorter.
DON’T skimp out on training and onboarding your staff. At the end of the day, your in-store employees will be the ones teaching and guiding your customers on how to use your new tech-focused fixtures. Think about airline kiosks that expedite check-in. While they are self-guided, there is always someone on hand to help with questions.
DO have a long-term plan for service and content. Some companies fall short here because they set up an amazing tech-powered display and don’t think about how things will work down the road. Knowing in advance who will be providing support, having these resources outlined in your budget, and planning out evolving content will keep your displays fresh, lively, and engaging in the long term.
Tech-focused fixtures and displays are no longer just for tech companies. Innovative retail organizations are now leveraging these resources to make a clear statement to consumers and competitors that they are here to stay in the marketplace. If your team is ready to take the next steps with technology, partnering with a company like Bluewater can make planning and implementing your innovative fixtures a breeze. Request your personal consultation today.
Written By: Eric Thompson-Senior Sales Executive. Modified By: Jonathan Welzel