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    January 4, 2021
    7 minute read

    4 Brands With the Best In-Store Digital Experiences

    by: Ben Sharaf

    The basis of omnichannel marketing calls for excellent in-store digital experiences that blend seamlessly into those online. The brands that really get it have made it their business for years now. In fact, the opportunity cost of not being omnichannel is a 10% loss in revenue.

    Therefore, the once mythical world of retail where physical shopping is fueled by digital tech is already a reality.

    Some of your customers may be eager to shop in-store, but they don't want that experience to be siloed off from their digital interactions with your brand.

    Previous research from Forbes found that 84% of consumers prefer to browse for and research products online, and this figure has held fairly steady at 81% in 2021, according to Invoca.

    Therefore, customers clearly enjoy — and expect — digital access whenever they engage with your brand, no matter where they are in the buying journey.

    But, with such a lofty preference for online shopping discussed previously, why bother heading to a store at all? Enormous value lies with tangibility.

    Shoppers want to physically see, touch, and try out products before they buy them but after they've thoroughly researched them. They demand extra product info before they commit to a purchase. Seventy-six percent of consumers go to brick-and-mortar locations for "care and support" from sales reps.

    Is In-Store Shopping Still Worth It?

    But what about post-pandemic in-store shopping predictions? According to a survey by First Insight, 44% of respondents say they’ll visit stores the same or less to buy footwear post-vaccination, while 45% say they’ll visit stores the same or less for beauty products, 41% say this about luxury items, and 43% for electronics.

    With great digital experiences already at your fingertips, what brands and retailers are doing cool stuff in their physical locations with technology worth visiting? Here are four companies offering best-in-class in-store digital experiences.

    What Are Digital Experiences?

    Digital experiences are ways your brand engages, interacts, or presents itself through technology as a means of connecting with current or potential customers. Ideally, digital experiences present your brand in a consistent way — whether a customer is visiting in-store or online.

    What Technology Is Used in Retail?

    Beyond interactive screens in the posh retailers already mentioned, other technology that’s fueling digital experiences includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and even facial recognition.

    Many retailers also offer apps, like Lowe’s, that help consumers make lists, enjoy discounts, check inventory, locate products in-store, and inspect enhanced content and reviews in real-time.

    What Is an Online Retail Experience?

    An online retail experience is a way of engaging and informing customers with the use of technology through personalization and interactivity — all the while meeting their shopping needs.

    1. 'Magic' Mirrors at Rebecca Minkoff

    If you want to see a great example of an omnichannel approach to luxury retail, visit the Los Angeles Rebecca Minkoff store, or the NYC location once it reopens. This brand's digital in-store experience truly sets the bar.

    This connected store provides the best of the online world in a physical location. Shoppers can browse as usual or they can shop via the "connected wall" — a giant touchscreen mirror that allows customers to swipe through available products, among other things.

    If something catches your eye on the connected wall, you can simply tap "Add items to my room." Then, when those clothes have been added to a dressing room, you get a text message. And to check out, just tap the changing room mirrors.

    2. Gucci's Main Attraction

    Much like Rebecca Minkoff, Gucci is another luxury retailer using digital experiences to draw customers — and has been doing so for about a decade.

    In addition to imaginative social media campaigns and viral collaborations, Gucci offers interactive displays in its flagship stores that allow customers to pause, rewind and search through content with simple hand gestures.

    3. Virtual Reality at Lowe's

    In the past, you may have heard about Lowe's foray into virtual reality-enhanced shopping. The retailer has continued to work on its range of in-store tech offerings.

    Lowe's leverages Google technology to allow consumers to measure their homes and virtually envision how furniture will fit and look in those spaces.

    When it’s time to make a purchase, customers can head into stores with the Lowe’s app to identify where products are physically located as well as inspect customer reviews for those items.

    4. Nike Kicks It in Gear

    Nike has embraced digital commerce for years with top-rated apps and tech-driven experiences. These digital-based experiences have even complemented and replaced those which happen in-store, which were a huge part of Nike's brand evolution before the health crisis.

    Online retail experiences are perhaps no better illustrated than global sporting and lifestyle powerhouse, Nike. With health, comfort, and livable style at the top of more consumers’ minds, this brand continues to win the digital shelf.

    The Nike app provides a mix of content and personalized commerce that rivals service found in-store. Users can gain early access to product drops and chat with Nike specialists for style advice.

    When it comes to putting this selected gear to the test, Nike offers a Nike Training Club app for home workouts in lieu of in-store training sessions — which will hopefully resume.

    Though waiting in long lines outside stores for sneaker releases used to be part of the thrill (and some brands still partake), the company's Nike SNKRS app provides a hub for "sneakerheads" to snag sought-after pairs from wherever.

    Ready For an Experience?

    It's time to capitalize on shoppers' demands for tech-driven commerce, and that means seamlessly connecting online shopping with in-store digital experiences to allow customers to buy how they want, when they want.

    Curious about your brand’s digital shelf readiness? Take this free, 10-minute Maturity Curve assessment and learn how your brand can start standing out today.


    TAKE ASSESSMENT

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