Earlier this month, I attended Consumer Engagement Technology World (CETW) in New York City, where Gerald Buchko, VP of Sales & Marketing from Jump.caspoke on a panel about Jump's XQ Interactive Retail implementation.
The panel was called “Integration: How to Achieve Customer Interaction” and his fellow panelist had implemented an interactive retail solution at her company, Cabela’s, for both gun safes and dog collars.
Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few similarities between how the phones and Cabela's products are sold. They are both complicated, big-ticket items that are not purchased very frequently. Both companies saw similar benefits in the areas of upsell: The interactive retail solution educated the customer so they were ready to have a deeper conversation with the sales rep. As well, the screens were both used for staff training.
There was another show going on at the same time called ad:tech. It was mostly focused on search/web advertising, but there were also mobile app developers and payment processing vendors in attendance. It seemed like there needed to be a bit of convergence between the two, since digital signage networks are another form of advertising.
Sessions & Keynotes
David Berkowitz deilvered a great closing keynote on Top 10 trends for social mobile. The presentation has some interesting examples, including an app to get other’s opinions “Opinonaided” and an Airwalk virtual pop-up store.
Here are a few of the highlights from other sessions:
- Mobile is forcing the in-store and dotcom VPs to align, which is similar to what Forrester recently told us: there will be convergence in this area.
- Permission-based marketing is the holy grail of mobile marketing -- get permission to check someone in when they enter your store and you can provide a really interesting custom experience.
- Getting mobile apps/shopping to plug in with the back-end is a challenge.
- A senior VP from Coke presented a digital Coke vending machine that had integration with product catalog. They had retrofitted existing machines with a digital interface that showed product, commercials, and games. (See video below.)
A few of the takeaways from CETW were encouraging for retailers. First of all, touchscreens are getting bigger and prices are coming down, which makes the initial investment for interactive retail technology more affordable.
Speaking of touchscreens, Visilogix showed a really cool transparent film (completely touchscreen interactive) you can put on a store window, making your storefront interactive even when your store is closed.
Also worth noting: Manufacturers are investing in content management systems, but these systems don’t answer the question of where the actual content will come from. (The advantage with XQ is that we allow you to manage content AND we handle the back-end content curation as well.)
Consumer engagement technology is advancing steadily and retailers should pay attention to this space. Mobile/in-store technology offers new and creative ways to reach customers, and in an industry as competitive wireless retail, dealers need to leverage every advantage possible.