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Beyond Digital

THE CHALLENGE

The Digital Revolution is on our doorstep and changes processes, standards and technologies faster than ever. Disruptive technologies are here to “shake up” existing practices and models, overhaul the old and make way for the new, with the potential to change the way we do business, the way we shop, the way we live.

As the boundaries between digital and physical become more and more blurry, we are witnessing a significant shift in customer behaviour, from online to instore. Despite the substantial momentum of online shopping though, brick-and-mortar retail stores remain the primary channel, in terms of revenue. Nonetheless, digital technologies are reshaping retail as we know it, becoming a vital component of instore, as well as out-of-store experiences.

Digital technologies will have an impact on up to 45% of all retail sales by 2025, according to the “Embracing the Digital Revolution: Policies for Building the Digital Economy” report released by GSMA, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group.

Retailers need to reinvent their business, transcend channels and provide customers with a different value proposition. The challenge was to synchronise the physical and the digital universes and merge the benefits of online shopping with the irreplaceable aspects of a physical store, pursuing an upgraded shopping experience that will generate value for both customers and businesses.

THE STRATEGY

With remarkable abundance of digital technologies at the tip of our fingers, retail is one of the first and foremost business sectors inclined to embark on the Digital Transformation journey.

The primary objective of our strategy was to motivate customers to explore and interact with the store, by achieving a triple purpose; offer an extraordinary and engaging experience, meet the needs and increase convenience of shoppers and provide value to the business, in the form of context intelligence and customer insights.

CUSTOMER NEEDS EFFICIENT PRODUCT MATCHING

Much more than just a hype, the Internet of Things refers to the interconnection of internet-enabled everyday objects (Things) with self-configuring capabilities, able to sense, communicate and network in real time.

Through the Internet of Things, we decided to create a transformed retail store, using digital technologies as the leverage to improve customer experience in multiple ways:

  • Increased convenience of shoppers
  • Gamification of the traditional retail ecosystem
  • Higher efficiency in product matching
  • Upgrade value on a product, process and performance level
  • Personalisation of customer experience

THE CONCEPT

Putting together the pieces of the retail store of the future

01
THE CONCEPT

Personal Product Filtering

Too many products, too many choices, too much tech lingo.
How do you choose a smartphone?

Putting to use the Internet of Things, under the MQTT connectivity protocol, we envisioned a different approach of a retail store selling smartphones. We created a pioneering form of an interactive shelf which, intercommunicating with the ATCOM Next mobile app, enabled guests to set their personal preferences and locate the product on display that best suited them, in a convenient and direct manner.

Approaching the Personal Product Filtering installation, guests opened the mobile app on their mobile devices and scanned a specific QR code, for the connection to begin and a unique colour to be assigned to them. The system had the capacity to support multiple guests at once, each with their own personal colour.

Through the app, users were presented with a series of filters referring to basic product attributes and features, presented to them in a simple, easy to grasp language. By adjusting the filters, they were able to select their preferences and watch the products that matched their criteria glowing on the shelf – packed with RGB-addressable LED strips precisely for this purpose – in the colour that was assigned to them.

Resembling the online shopping experience, this procedure enabled a quick and effective product screening, while the physical store setting allowed them to see, touch and feel the product before buying it.

The Personal Product Filtering was developed on Arduino, an open-source platform intended specifically for IoT projects.

Experiential Product Configurator

Building the perfect laptop

02
THE CONCEPT

When buying a laptop, apart from the model, you need to select the configuration, as models come with multiple specs to match multiple tastes, budgets and interests.

Extending our vision into other retail store spots susceptible to meaningful disruption, digital signage and touchscreens were our “weapons of choice” to digitally transform the display booth of a laptop vendor. Merging digital signage into the traditional shelf, the display booth was enhanced and used as a canvas to craft personalised shopping experiences.

Our Experiential Product Configurator, combining tactile perception with on-the-spot configuration options, gave the audience the opportunity to explore all the different product ranges of the laptops on display, according to their exact needs and budget. A video wall above the booth invited guests to come and experiment with the installation. Guests could navigate on touch through the different options of four main laptop attributes – processor, memory, storage and hard drive – while physically familiarising with the product. Seeing the price adjusting to the customisable specs, they could make their decision and configure their tailor-made laptop in a personalised and straightforward way.

What’s the best laptop?
The correct answer is: It depends on the shopper!

What's next?

What happens if we place our installations within a greater Omnichannel strategy of a retail store?

Imagine a unified customer profile across channels, including personal preferences, prior research and every step of the customer journey mapped and available to the brand. What would it take for the brand to put to use these valuable insights in a strategic context and what would that mean for customers?

When it comes to digital transformation, the “magic” happens when we combine multiple digital technologies to build an interconnected system based on technological synergy.

Based on the establishment of a loyalty mobile app, LBE Beacons can be incorporated into the video walls, pick up and interact with the app to show personalised targeted messages, combined offers and exclusive discounts. Cross and upselling techniques can then be topped with the option to immediately place the product in the wishlist or the basket and proceed to instant payment.

Bringing proximity into the equation, we are able to provide valuable business insights and contextual data to “unlock” and map customer buying patterns and overall behaviour, compare them to market trends and business objectives and achieve stronger customer engagement and additional conversions.

Making of

Technology

TAPVOLUTION FRAMEWORK
TAPVOLUTION FRAMEWORK
NODE.JS
NODE.JS
MICROSOFT AZURE CLOUD SERVICE
MICROSOFT AZURE CLOUD SERVICE
 SOCKET.IO
SOCKET.IO
ARDUINO
ARDUINO
MQTT
MQTT

THE OUTCOME

With clear business objectives set, a strategy carefully planned down to the slightest detail and an excellent implementation of the project, our mission to bring to life the retail store of the future was accomplished!

The outcome exceeded our expectations, with hundreds of guests being engaged and excited, eager to experiment with the installations and make use of the ATCOM Next mobile application.

Our creative approach, set on a strong strategic basis, set a fresh vibe that resembles a modern, forward-thinking retail store. Digitising aspects of brick-and-mortar stores, we transformed the first line of communication with the customer, managed to forge memorable experiences and, at the same time, relieve customers from the “headache” of product research and configuration.

Our Experiential Product Configurator and Personal Product Filtering installations proved to be a powerful tool for every retailer that wishes to reap the benefits of Omnichannel shopping. Addressing every step of the instore customer journey and connecting it to the out-of-store customer behaviour, they are ready to be put to use, strategically and in context, by any retail store.

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