iQmetrix using touchscreens to get customers to tap, swipe, and buy

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Date: March 62014

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By Candice So

It’s not easy to create a good store display. Products have to be arranged in such a way that they catch customers’ eyes, draw them in, and encourage them to shop around a store – and of course, they should make customers want to buy something.

Since more and more consumers are taking their business online, it’s a tall order, but that’s where iQmetrix, a Vancouver, B.C.-based company, thinks it can help. It has created customizable touchscreen displays, inviting consumers to look at a brick and mortar store’s products more closely with the tap of a screen and the swipe of a finger.

This is essentially the store blending the physical and virtual worlds together,” said product marketing manager Anu Darbari, in an interview Wednesday. She was at Dx3, a conference for retailers and marketers in Toronto.

A customer walks into your store, and you want to increase the engagement the customer has with your brand. So instead of the customer buying stuff online, they want to come to your store again and again and have this experience there that they’ll tell [to] their friends.”

To use the touchscreens, consumers simply come up and tap certain places to get more information about a product. For example, if they’re looking at a photo of a model showing off an outfit and eyeing the jeans she’s wearing, they can tap on the jeans to see information on sizing, colours, and washes, as well as reviews of that product pulled from the web.

Consumers can also get recommendations for products that will go with that pair of jeans as a way of upselling. They can notify store salespeople if they need help, and if a size isn’t available, they can just tap the screen to have it shipped to that store location.

Retailers can also display their products around the screen, so that consumers can quickly touch and feel the physical item – and hopefully, that will translate into a sale, Darbari said.

The problem that we’re facing – that a lot of retailers are facing – is showrooming, where customers come to your store, see a product, and then go online and buy it,” she added. Because there’s nothing holding them back in the store. This brings all the information right into the store.”

And for shyer customers who just don’t want salespeople bothering them, this can help them make purchasing decisions on their own, Darbari said.

Pricing for the screens is on a software-as-a-service model, charging retailers $80 per month per touchscreen display. However, if a store uses more screens, a volume discount is available.