Imagine your local department store reacts and engages with you as you stroll by the shop window. Mirrors in the retail store automatically gauge your body measurements to assist in choosing the right fit. These may seem to be far from reality for the retail industry in India, but these experiences are being developed by technology-based platforms tailored towards retail brands in the country.
Transforming retail experience
The retail industry is going through an unprecedented phase of evolution. As this evolution meets the advancement of motion and gesture technology, it leads to a transformation of the consumer retail experience. The integration of interactive technology with the retail environment is an integral aspect to match the expectations of the new retail consumer.
There are times when the salesperson, due to limited knowledge about the product, is unable to engage, educate, and convince the customer. With the help of touch screen and gesture surfaces, salesperson can access online/offline inventories and customer purchase patterns, thus can guide them with similar preferences or demographics more effectively. Besides, interactive technology help retailers connect in-store activities with the consumer’s social network. This will not only enhance the consumers experience but indirectly promotes the brand.
On the customer front, digital experience can help them compare the features, price range and other facets of a product independently. Indian customers still believe in touch and feel concept before making the purchase decision. Therefore, retailers need to look at virtually enhanced, and not necessarily replace, the physical shopping experience.
Busting the myths
One of the biggest myths about digital in-store experience is that it focuses on self service. However, the utility is to increase effectiveness, not replacing the staff. Retailers are continuously look for methods to increase the efficiency of their in-store staff.
The primary objective of retailers to use interactive technology should be to immediately engage a customer, enhance shopping experience, and aid the purchase process. Retail analytics is an effective tool that brands can adopt to seamlessly understand the preferences and needs of a consumer. This enables the device to create a database of similarities and patterns of purchase, which in turn is used as a tool to engage and guide the customer during his next visit.
Brands continuously struggle to build a conversation with their prospective customers during the shopping experiences. Interactive technology is a solution to immediately engage and leave the consumer with a memorable experience. Apart from the technology itself, the use of the technology is important – not to force it on the customer, but have the consumer embrace the technology as a part of their intuitive nature.