At iQmetrix, we've been hard at work building products to help retailers enhance the in-store customer experience. Our RQ Retail Management solution streamlines the POS and back-of-house operations, while our XQ Interactive Retail solutions shore up the front-end, consumer interface within the store.
So we were delighted to read Stephanie Clifford's New York Times article today, examining young people's tendency to avoid human customer service in-store in favor of self-service, touchscreen technology.
Interactive retail is one of our specialties and a subject we pay close attention to. We've concluded that appealing to both types of customers -- those that want human advice and those that prefer to use self-service technology -- is the way to go, and we've recently blogged about this holistic approach to retail (see Omnichannel experience).
We've also recently published a 5-part article series (written by our Creative Director, Alen Puaca) on Designing the Next Generation of Retail Places, to further explain how the store of the future is a manifestation of this "omnichannel experience" -- a shopping experience that is consistent across online, mobile and in-store settings.
In her article, Clifford describes how Bobbi Brown demonstrates makeup application on touchscreen monitors in-store; how LeBron James' shoe store in Miami has 50 iPads available to describe its merchandise; and how C. Wonder (a clothing retailer in New York City that iQ staff toured a couple months ago on the NRF 2012 Store Tour) installed touch screens in the changerooms, to allow shoppers to adjust the lighting and music.
All of these are very exciting applications of in-store customer engagement technology that lend themselves to the XQ Interactive Retail solutions we offer and continue to build.
“How the customer is defining service and wants service to be delivered is changing pretty rapidly, and a lot of that is driven by technology,” said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for Nordstrom, as quoted by Clifford. “A lot of customers like to touch and feel and try on the merchandise, but they also want that information that they get online.”