September 20, 2021

Experiential Retail: Blending Digital & Physical

As confined consumers return to the outside world they’re seeking the best blend of digital convenience and hands-on engagement. To ensure they keep coming back to your store, offer a smart mix of virtual and physical.

Volvo automobile configurator with Elo touchscreen

During the COVID-19 pandemic, housebound consumers became big fans of frictionless, remote retail conducted from the comfort of their home. Now, as the disruption winds down, millions of them – especially the large cohort of millennials – are more than ready to reengage with the physical world.

To attract these consumers, brick and mortar stores need to find ways to combine the ease-of-use and unlimited possibilities of virtual with the satisfying, hands-on physical dimension.

An interactive shopping experience

The aim is to create a whole new experience you can’t have anywhere else. One that is engaging, personalized and even immersive. A retail experience with the tactile interaction that’s been missing online, augmented by the tech magic of virtual or augmented reality applications. These investments have proven worthwhile to grow your brand loyalty and revenues.

Experiential retail has a number of key features that distinguish it from the conventional shopping we’re all familiar with.

  1. 1. Creating an immersive experience that can be shared
  2. 2. Putting customer engagement first, not sales
  3. 3. Stimulating the customer’s senses
  4. 4. Exceeding customer expectations
  5. 5. Offering events and services
  6. 6. Making the experience unique and fun

The future of retail is experiential

There are innovative, inspiring examples out there that we can all learn from. For instance, at Nike, customers are invited to enter a VR world where they can experience the various steps of Nike's supply chain and get a better idea about where their trainers come from. At BMW showrooms, car shoppers use an augmented reality experience to customize cars in different styles or colors – virtually trying before buying.

Mirror, mirror

Meanwhile, the Seafolly swimwear brand provides a ‘smart mirror’ in the changing rooms. Leveraging artificial intelligence, augmented reality and gesture recognition technology, the interactive mirror creates a slick, virtual shopping experience. The touchscreen device allows shoppers to ‘try on’ colors, sizes and styling options. And thanks to a concierge service that sends messages to store personnel, there’s no need to tiptoe outside half-dressed in search of a different size.

Smart mirrors have also taken centre stage at the make-up counters of Neiman Marcus stores. The touch screen/camera combo records every application of eyeliner, blush or lipstick, remembering what products were tried. The system can even text the customer personalized beauty tips.

Effortless, enjoyable and in-person, experiential retail blends the best of boutique shopping with online speed and convenience.

Create immersive interactive experiences with Elo touchscreen signage

Experiential retail appears to be here to stay. Beyond just selling products, it’s an effective way to build relationships and improve customer satisfaction. Digital experiential retail is a way of smoothing the transition between the store experience and online offerings. Tempted by immersive experiences, consumers have even more reason to quit the comfort of home and visit your store.

Elo’s line of large format touchscreen signage provides a brilliant canvas for adding interactivity to any environment. Various sizes are available to suit different uses. For a close-up experiential application such as make-up, the 32” is perfect. The larger 43” or 55” screens are ideal for full body experiences or a high-impact automobile demo, for example.

The Elo touchscreen signage family delivers fast and extremely sensitive response time, as well as touch thru capability allowing the interactive display to be mounted behind a mirror, in a counter or in a fully encased kiosk for added durability or aesthetics. The screens can also be incorporated into a touch table or bar top to engage the public in multiple ways. All displays offer a sleek, slim design built to withstand the rigors of continuous commercial use.

Expand the experience

To further enlarge the experiential possibilities of your touchscreen installation, look to the Elo Edge Connect system: a wide assortment of peripheral options you can seamlessly attach to the edge of the touchscreen creating a bespoke solution by adding functionality to the application.

Take the Elo Edge Connect™ 3D camera, for example. You can tailor in-store experiences – from the makeup counter to the fitting room - enabling VR/AR applications that allow customers to visualize makeup or clothing without physically wearing it. With the ability to augment customer experiences, stores can help customers find what they want quicker and easier.

Discover Elo Touchscreens.