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The use of digital technology in bricks and mortar stores has increased rapidly over the last few years.
I've deliberately excluded mobile here, as that will be the topic of my next article, but here are a few examples of how retailers are using interactive mirrors, video, and touchscreens to enchance the in-store experience for shoppers.
Burberry's flagship London store aims to bring some of the web experience to the high street, featuring mirrors that double as video screens and staff armed with iPads.
Other clever tricks include the use of radio-frequency identification technology (RFID), which triggers related catwalk footage when some products are taken into a fitting room, or near a video screen.
A mixture of the practical and experiential.
This is an old one (from 2008) but still a good idea which could be developed for window shopping.
This campaign encouraged shoppers to leave their images for use in a collage of images being shown in shop windows.
Nordstrom uses mobile POS devices in its stores to enable staff to check out customers anywhere in its stores, and cut the queues down.
The New Balance iPad app is deisgned to help customers and sales assistants in store, allowing them to access the product catalogue, check stock, and help with sizing issues.
This interactive store in London's pop up Boxpark mall uses motion-sensitive mirrors which display footage of local runners wearing products from the store as customers walk past them.
It also uses interactive touchscreens to allow customers to access further information about products, and order online.
Audi's digital dealership, Audi City, contains no cars, only huge screens on which customers can view and choose their preferred features.
The new digital showrooms are designed to fit into an area the size of a regualr shop, and are designed for city centes where traditional dealerships aren't possible.
The flagship store in London contains touchscreen tables which project images onto large video screens:
Primark's new Newcastle store uses video screens, including the giant screen seen here:
(Image credit: Graham Soult)
According to retail expert Graham Soult:
The screen does communicate some product information, including pricing, but I think its primary value is in what it says about Primark as a business: namely, that it’s the biggest, best-looking and most modern store on the street.
M&S launched its flagship store in Chesgire Oaks last year, replete with iPads, lots of video and QR, and these nifty virtual mnakeover counters:
Tesco has trialled touchscreen kiosks in several stores. These allow for stock checking and ordering:
The retailer has also used interactive mirrors which allow users to try clothes on 'virtually' using a gesture based interface.
House of Fraser
The retailer launched a series of House of Fraser.com stores in smaller retail units to support its Buy and Collect service.
The stores, similar in concept to John Lewis' 'At Home' outlets, uses touch screens and kiosks to allow customers to order for delivery to shop or home.
These stores allow House of Fraser to provide access to its whole product range without the need for the shopfloor space of its usual stores.
This list is by no means exhaustive, so please suggest any great examples you've seen in stores...
Econsultancy's JUMP event on October 9 is all about creating seamless multichannel customer experiences. Now, in its fourth year it will be attended by more than 1,200 senior client-side marketers. This year it forms part of our week-long Festival of Marketing extravaganza.