After three fun filled days in Vegas, it’s time to go home. And while I’ve attended Shop.org five different times, I still left with new connections and a plethora of knowledge. This year, the topics I found most interesting were surrounding in-store technologies and community.
If you work in retail and have a brick and mortar presence, establishing a killer in-store experience is an absolute necessity. One session that stood out in particular was In-Store Technologies That Are Making a Difference. While I’m a huge advocate for leveraging an app’s in-store mode, there are several other complimentary technologies that are seeing major success.
One of two in-store tech solutions I found most noteworthy was Perch Interactive. If you aren’t familiar with PERCH, it is best known for its physical and digital interactive displays for retail marketing. They work with world-class brands and retailers like Neiman Marcus, Verizon, Sunglass Hut, Jo Malone, Reebok, Kate Spade and Red Bull. For a long time, retailers have been so focused on creating the same digital experience online as in-store that they often deprioritize digital adoption in-store. As PERCH’s Trevor Sumner asked, “I can click on products online for more info, why can’t I in-store?” With the company’s digital displays, customers not only have access to any and all merchandise info but also assistance with gifting. One of PERCH’s top supporters is Scott Emmons of Neiman Marcus, who explained that PERCH’s technology is natural and easy for their shopper to use. After implementing PERCH, Neiman has seen a considerable sales lift in Women’s Shoes, Men’s Shoes and Gifts. While I haven’t had the opportunity to interact with PERCH’s displays firsthand, I plan to check out their offering in my local Sephora over the weekend.
Another technology gaining momentum is Brickwork Software. Brickwork’s Retail Experience Management Platform optimizes the digital presence of physical stores and drives online traffic into unique offline shopping experiences via local content marketing, appointment booking, event management, growing acquisition and loyalty. The company works with brands like Kate Spade, David Yurman, Madewell, Bonobos, West Elm, Nike and Urban Outfitters. Brickwork’s David Munczinski and Kate Spade’s Jackelyn Glick spoke to the challenge many retailers are facing: finding a way to bring the front door of incredible boutiques to the rapidly growing customer group who engages via digital first. Currently, Kate Spade is overcoming that challenge by leveraging Brickwork for Store Pages & Locators, Appointment Management and Event Management. As a shopping-obsessed millennial, the appointment feature resonates most with me. With it, I have the ability to book an appointment to find the perfect gift, receive a personal styling session, or make it mine with handbag customization. According to Glick, the brand seen incredible success with Brickwork, including 35,000+ experiences booked - 89% of those have associated sales logged and an AOV of over $400.
While in-store tech is a must, there is no success without community. Ali Weiss, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Glossier spoke about the modern, digitally-native beauty brand and understanding what girls want in real life. The Fast Company Presentation focused on the vision and importance of community. With the beauty industry surpassing $145 Billion, Weiss shared why Glossier has seen such explosive growth in just 4 years’ time.
- Its community creates more content than they’ll ever be able to create on their own.
- People want to hear from other people.
- Every comment is received and read. Community is more than just transactions, driving participation and conversation has been fundamental.
- In 2016, Glossier launched a representative program. The company found that many users were creating their own content and it was far more powerful than their own. Glossier’s representatives are not chosen based on how much they purchase but rather those who are most engaged and create the best content.
- Individuals can become a Glossier representative without a huge Instagram following. The company recognizes the power of micro influencers.
- The company ensures there are no hard lines between internal teams and keeps a customer-first mindset.
- Glossier promotes quality content, which can be summed up as this: beautiful packaging, photographable brick and mortar stores and the assurance that ambassadors have access to the tools and products they need.
For further insight into what retailers are doing in-store, read Our 5 Favorite In-store Experiences.