"Instead of seeing digital innovation as competition, retailers need to harness the power of new technologies"
How to improve the shopper experience
How can the High Street tap into digital advances? Here’s a few ideas from commercial lighting design specialist Greenlite…
1. Offer easy-to-access wifi
According to a report by Deloitte, nearly 50% of millennials are influenced by social media when deciding whether to make purchases. From checking product reviews on Facebook to seeking opinion via a changing room selfie, social media forms a seamless part of their shopping experience. Yet despite these, only around 1/3 of major retailers offer free wi-fi in store, and the sign-up process is often laboriously slow. By offering shoppers a rapid-access, clearly signposted, speedy connection, they’ll be able to readily use the technology that’s such a huge part of their lives.
2. Employ location-targeted technology
Most of us are glued to our smartphones, and we all love a bargain. Thanks to Apple’s iBeacon technology, it’s possible for stores to send targeted promotions direct to a shopper’s phone, when they’re in a specific aisle or area.
3. Install in-store order booths
There’s nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect pair of jeans, only to discover the exact size or colour you’re after isn’t available. Stop that shopper leaving in frustration by installing in-store booths, where he or she can instantly order the elusive item for home delivery.
4. Use Magic Mirrors
Make your customer feel like a princess (or prince), with magic mirrors. Ralph Lauren and New York designer Rebecca Minkoff are both taking advantage of this futuristic technology, which enables shoppers to envisage how a top or dress would look in an alternative colour. With a tap of the glass, shoppers can also send a message to a shop assistant, asking for an alternative size.
Taking it up a notch, the latest mirror innovations facilitate Facetime style video calls, so shoppers can reveal potential purchases to friends and seek their opinion. And that means it’ll be more important than ever to have well illuminated changing areas. Greenlite advises stores to swap fluorescents for LEDs, which not only flatter skin tone, but really show off fabric textures and colours.
5. Encourage cashless payment
When you’ve tried on an armful of clothes and finally decided to part with your hard earned cash, the last thing you want to see is the queue for the tills snaking around the store. Apple Pay and floating check-out staff, armed with handheld payment terminals, can reduce the wait, but other futuristic solutions are afoot.
When Amazon Go launches, shoppers will be able to scan themselves into a supermarket using an app, then simply pick their shopping, pop it in their bag and leave. The oh-so-clever technology means the shop knows what you’ve chosen and you’re billed via your Amazon account.
6. Feature high-tech mannequins
Imagine a shopper walking past a mannequin and admiring its red dress and heels. Hey presto, her phone then buzzes with a message telling her everything she needs to know about the look, encouraging her to buy it. It may sound futuristic, but thanks to digital advances it’s possible.
So, it seems the retail landscape is packed with potential. And instead of seeing digital innovation as competition, retailers need to harness the power of new technologies. By being open to change, we can improve what the High Street has to offer, making shopping an experience that’s both exhilarating and efficient.
For more clever ideas on boosting your customers’ retail experiences through commercial lighting design – contact us.