"...in the future retailers won't just be looking to bolt plasma screens to the walls of their retail environments, but will actually be pulling apart their stores and designing environments totally around the opportunities afforded by audio visual technology. No longer bland old 'digital signage', but exciting integrated multimedia experiences - or 'Retail Theatre'. To offer their thoughts on the subject, The Screen had drawn together a selection of companies working at the cutting edge of retail digital media - all of whom had their own perspectives and intriguing case studies.
Sony are a company that know a thing or to about 'customer experience' - and they work out how Sony can bring all its movies, music, gaming, hardware, software and high-end broadcast solutions together - to offer the joined-up 'Sony United' concept of 'Visual Wealth'.For Sony it's all about great content delivered in great style in exciting and unique ways. The specific case study discussed was the work done for The National Geographic retail chain - 'flagship' stores across the major shopping capitals of the world. Each of these environments is designed as part curiosity shop, part museum, part book store, part coffee shop, part clothes store, part travel emporium. Across the site Sony has worked with the company to deliver high-definition content across different digital signage applications. The overall effect being of something that doesn't look much like a shop - eventhough people end up spending money there and appear to keep coming back to spend more.
- Mood Media
In some of their more recent installations they have combined sensory experiences that offer the exact right combination of sound, sight and smell to drive a particular purchase decision. Fresh cut grass and buzzing noises for the garden equipment zone - and running water, flower fragrances and soothing tunes for the bathrooms. MoodMedia knows its 'science' works - and the great results and customer feedback from their sites prove that in a world where purchase decisions are more often 'want' than 'need' driven - it more than pays to play on the emotions driven by our core senses.
So retail theatre - the idea of technology used seamlessly as part of the customer experience - is not just the future, but alive and out there today. It is defined by a focus on good design, subtle positioning, smart technology and core emotional triggers.