Innovative Retail Technologies

JAN-FEB 2017

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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Maximizing Customer Experiences Per Square Foot W hy do shoppers visit stores anymore? In a world where e-commerce has just about per- fected the seamless transaction, shoppers now expect physical spaces to of- fer something compelling, memorable, and differentiating. Whether it's an interesting store concept, technology implemented in new and exciting ways, or a great in-person experience, retail is reinventing itself to compete for consumers' attention — and share of wallet. Nike Flagship Focuses On Experience (And They Sell Stuff, Too) There's a growing body of evidence that the physical store is evolving beyond a place merely to purchase goods and services. Nike's flagship store in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, for example, brings the personalization and experiential retailing concepts to life. Over five floors and 55,000 square feet, the sprawling store includes a Kinect-powered basketball court that displays the user's movements on a large touch screen nearby with a Division I player on hand to offer tips on technique. Customers can try out cleats on soccer turf to get a better sense of how the shoes fit and perform before committing to a purchase. In the Nike By NYC studio, shop- pers have the opportunity to personalize products to their specific requirements and store visitors can network with each other, learn about the latest products, and meet designers in The Stands. The store supports Apple Pay for seamless checkout, and the brand also ensures that its Nike+ members have access to numerous benefits from 30-day trials of new product and stream- lined returns to booking personal service appointments and access to content and programming from a host of Nike apps. With all the bells and whistles built into its new store, Nike gives customers a compelling reason to make a trip to the flagship. Transcending the limits of a basic transaction, the Nike store brings visitors deeper into the brand experience, enabling the everyday athlete to get the rock star treatment typically reserved for world-class sporting champs. Why Stores Want Shoppers To "Do" And Not Just "Buy" Other retailers are also building around this concept of doing instead of simply buying in store. Pirch, the home fixtures retailer that unabashedly caters to a sophisticated and moneyed demographic, similarly em- braces a reinvention of the traditional retail concept. From shower heads to stoves, shoppers are encouraged to try out virtu- ally every product in the store's museum- like showroom, which is complete with thoughtful lighting and digital interfaces to power on and off just about any fixture at hand. It's not unusual to see someone enjoying a quick rinse beneath a $1,000 shower head. And there isn't a price tag in sight. In the Pirch philosophy, consumers will make a smarter purchase when they've handled and used a product rather than simply trying to visualize how it will work or integrate into their existing space. In Praise Of Pop-Ups Pop-ups remain an important part of retail, allowing brands and retailers to test new concepts, products, and markets without making major financial and real estate commitments. With.Me, for example, is an "on-demand retail platform" that clients can use to launch new temporary shops quickly in spaces such as shopping malls, corporate campuses, festivals, and more. With their smaller footprints, pop-up shops provide an intimate shopping experi- ence and dovetail nicely with the trend of shrinking retail formats, as seen with even mega-retailers like Walmart and Target rethinking store sizes to serve new markets and Millennial customers. Here's how retailers large and small are using technology to reinvent and revitalize the in-store experience. BY ANNE MARIE STEPHEN I CEO AND FOUNDER KWOLIA Jan-Feb 2017 28 As consumers increasingly expect more from the store, forward-thinking retailers are focused on delivering top-notch, tech-driven experiences within their four walls, and even bringing retail to unexpected places. What's Next

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