Retail displays are an important part of a successful marketing plan, drawing attention to a brand’s products and building a loyal following. With the interactive retail displays of the future, technology will play an important role in providing a personalized and educational experience.
There was a time when experiential merchandising displays broke the mold with simple video loops or motion sensors causing audio calls to action. Based on these features, many interactive retail displays today take it a step further with original ideas for product presentation and demonstration.
It’s no surprise to see innovative brands incorporating unique elements into their merchandising programs. Not only does the technology offer data collection capabilities, but the incorporation of entertaining components excites buyers and encourages discovery. Ultimately, interactive displays can lead to more in-depth consumer education and brand loyalty.
Merchandising screens with touch screens
For decades, kiosks have revolutionized our everyday experiences. We use them to order food, pay for parking, and check in baggage, so it’s easy to forget that touchscreens weren’t always the norm.
Because the technology is well established and widely used today, some brands have upgraded merchandising displays with touch screens to provide buyers with a hands-on experience. Uses often include shopping in an endless aisle, finding additional product information, or customizing merchandise.
A global manufacturer of paints, coatings and specialty materials, PPG, recognized the benefit of incorporating a touchscreen into its paint chip display when launching its current “Voices of Color” retail program.
Customers can use interactive retail signage to:
- Scan paint chips and view color selections in a variety of environments and locations.
- Discover complementary color recommendations.
- Send an email or save favorites that can be retrieved later on a device at home.
The successful display program continues to help shoppers today in stores nationwide.
When the connection is offline
Omnichannel, phygital, call it what you want. The point is, we are now quite tuned in to the process of broadcasting our shopping experience across a variety of platforms. And with consumers eager to resume in-store shopping as the pandemic abates, once-digital brands are stepping up their partnerships with traditional bricks and mortars to reach more customers.
Displays for native digital brands like Grove, Birchbox and many others are securing shelf space at established retailers, and they’re aiming for impact. Grove’s launch features an exclusive scent only found in Target stores, and Birchbox lets Walgreens shoppers create their own curated beauty box by choosing five samples from an assortment. Countless others have captivated shoppers with pop-up shops, Instagram-worthy spaces, and branded experiences.
In a Luxe Digital article titled “Retail Renaissance: How Digital Native Brands Redefining the Store Experience”, author Florine Eppe Beauloye states: “From mobile payment with digital payment methods to augmented reality applications, interactive screens, With voice recognition and social media integration, new technologies are being adopted by retailers to connect the online and in-store shopping experience and make it as seamless and frictionless as possible. “
As these relationships continue to flourish, watch for more experiential merchandising displays from these brands to capitalize on the customer’s comfort level with interaction and digital channels.
Above and Beyond with Interactive Retail Displays
As brands compete to design displays that personalize the consumer experience, sometimes you have to think outside the box to capture attention. It can sound like fantasy storytelling, using tech features, or just going beyond a basic push button or video loop.
|GE LIghting’s retail display uses LED lights to highlight the capabilities of special bulbs.|
This is exactly what GE Lighting has done with its recent LED + program to highlight the various capabilities of its specialty bulbs.
The display allows customers to press buttons to create different scenarios. In a demo, pressing and holding the button plays music through a light bulb. In another, the demo shows a bulb that switches from daylight to nightlight. The last demo generates a fake thunderstorm that causes a power cut. Once the softbox turns off, the bulb will turn back on to highlight the battery save function.
When investing in a display program, consider how to present your products to help consumers better understand their features or functions. In addition to impactful messages, presenting merchandise in a novel way not only encourages educating buyers, but also helps create a memorable experience.
Future interactive display features
Retail displays continue to evolve and the future holds exciting technology for brands looking to push the boundaries.
Although augmented reality is not new, its integration into merchandising displays is still in its infancy. In the years to come, however, we’ll likely see more implementation – and welcome adoption. Thanks to popular apps that use AR like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok, an upcoming generation of shoppers will have no problem releasing their mobile devices for in-store tech.
We are already seeing augmented reality online from reputable e-commerce sites that help customers view products or furniture in their homes. So don’t be surprised when it starts showing up in stores as useful avenues for indicating a promotion, showcasing product features, or carrying out other endless possibilities.
Additionally, camera analytics will become increasingly present on shelves and screens as brands use the service to personalize digital messaging and get real-time customer data.
Imagine a retail display that uses AI to change its brand and images based on the demographics of the approaching customer.
Through video analytics, brands can also identify products that grab attention, messages that work for different age groups, and more. This information can help brands adapt other aspects of their marketing, from traditional advertising to partnering with brand ambassadors. Essentially, in-store customers can help provide a wealth of data for brands looking to analyze purchasing behaviors.
In general, all retail displays are an important part of a successful marketing plan, drawing attention to a brand’s products and building a loyal following. Plus, interactive features that both excite and inform can go even further to distinguish a business from its competition. And with the interactive retail displays of the future, technology will play an important role in providing a personalized and educational experience.
Images courtesy of Frank Mayer and Associates Inc.