For the past decade, the rise and rise of online retail’s market share in total retail sales has given sleepless nights to brick and mortar retail chains. Although initial fear nearly paralyzed the industry in 2008-2010, causing brick and mortars to turn themselves inside out to keep up with online platforms, we now understand that ecommerce directly accounts for only around 11 to 13% of total retail purchasing today, even though it influences a lot more than that.
Even given all the ups and downs in expectations and realizations from the past 10 years, today we can all agree that the burgeoning success of ecommerce does pose a very real threat to sustained brick and mortar success.
Many have weighed in on the variables contributing to customer shopping preferences, and what leads them to ultimately make their purchases online or within a store. The common thread among 82% of consumers, however, is that they prefer to do their shopping in physical stores.
This preference largely comes down to matters relating to customer experience (CX). Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that the brick and mortar industry needs to significantly up its customer experience game, and one of the most efficient, cost effective methods is by implementing smart video screens.
While its beginnings were firmly rooted in point-of-sale information delivery and placard advertising tactics, today’s innovative digital signage is estimated to provide a 30% lift for customer loyalty and retention, and a 46% boost on consumer satisfaction. Bringing video into brick and mortar stores is a winning tactic to improve customer experience. Below you can find an array of ideas on how to integrate innovative video experiences in your brick and mortar store.
Educate your consumers
Video has always been the go-to medium when consumers must understand or deploy complex instructions, or when a product presents a new concept.
For example, when capsule-based automated coffee machines entered the market a few years ago, Nespresso posted explanatory videos in their brick and mortar stores in a successful attempt to de-mystify their product (and calm consumers who were concerned about the waste-producing aspect).
Imagine how much more likely you’d be to purchase that piece of Ikea furniture if assembly was demonstrated in front of you (“It looks so easy!”). While consumers may be initially hesitant to purchase an item that might present technical difficulties or prove difficult to use, with in-store video screens, you have the ability to boost your customer’s confidence in handling your product.
Use a point-of-sale explainer video to improve customer experience not only with their shopping experience, but with specific products as well.
Keep them engaged
Point-of-sale video is one of the most effective ways to engage brick and mortar shoppers. Checkout lines are the best place for high-impact in-store video placements because they offer huge potential for message relevance based on context.
People hate waiting in lines. Innovative digital signage at grocery stores reduces perceived wait time by more than one-third, while 84% of customers say that watching content on in-store displays helps them pass the time spent waiting in the checkout line more enjoyably. The bottom line is that engaging your in-store customers with video can not only improve customer experience, but also simultaneously increase sales.
For example, Impax Media, a Montreal-based digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising company, partners with supermarkets to place rows of 32-inch high-definition screens just above product displays in grocery checkout lanes. Broadcasting a mix of store- or product-branded infotainment – including last-minute meal ideas, step-by-step cooking instructions and “today’s sales” promotions – the screens engage shoppers while they wait.
But perhaps the most valuable aspect of in-store OOH screens like these, from the retailer’s perspective, is that the communication is not limited to one direction. While the screens serve up their content, they can also actively collect audience intelligence. Ultimately, these attention metrics provide store managers with the opportunity to learn more about their foot traffic patterns or which infotainment topics resonate best at various times of the day or week. Advertisers and media buyers, moreover, gain access to with enough data about the viewing audience that they can optimize video content for maximum impact.
Ensure a personalized experience
In-store video can also increase brand loyalty by providing a highly personalized shopping experience. Because smart screens funnel information back to brand managers, brick and mortar stores can now segment audiences in real time, empowering them to deliver on-brand, on-topic, contextually compelling product offers, just like their ecommerce competitors. This ability to project a highly personalized retail experience can transform one-time shoppers into loyal consumers.
Some in-store smart screens are already delivering highly personalized content experiences to consumers, capitalizing on the ability to deliver precisely what they want, in the place they already are, exactly at the moment they want it. MemoMi’s new smart mirror, for example, lets consumers “try it on without taking it off.” In-store customers can experience exactly what clothing items will look like on them, without ever stepping foot inside a fitting room.
Nieman Marcus’s California customers are already utilizing a branded, customized version of the MemoryMirror. The consumer controls the mirror to generate 360-degree, back, and side view of each outfit as it might look on the individual shopper. He or she can even compare outfits side-by-side, all without having to physically change clothes.
The smart mirror simultaneously provides a personalized, loyalty-building medium to engage the brick-and-mortar consumer, while creating a data goldmine for retailers and advertisers alike. Sales associates can send item recommendations directly to customers from the mirror, and retailers gather shopping data by analyzing and measuring in-store behavior. Personalized, engaging marketing like the MemoryMirror serves triple duty by stimulating purchases, cultivating brand loyalty and providing priceless data to retailers and advertisers.
Over to you
Retailers have been behind the eight ball for years, feeling pressure to “keep up with ecommerce.” Smart in-store POS video, however, is levelling the field and ushering in many of the same opportunities previously open only to online marketers.
The consistent ability to enhance customer experience by educating consumers, keeping them engaged and delivering highly personalized, contextually compelling content is now within the reach of every brick-and-mortar retailer.