We have seen a lot of offline stores go under in the past several years. Reasons are many but the one simple fact is shoppers aren’t going into the store. There needs to be a reason to go into the store, either for the experience it brings or something more monetary like returning merchandise or picking up merchandise purchased on other channels. You could do what Khol’s did and accept Amazon returns; according to the Motely Fool, Khol’s found that store traffic was 8.5% higher at stores in the program than at those stores that were not (link). While that’s really thinking out of the box and it definitely looks like it’s working out for Khol’s, not everyone can do that or is set up to do that.
IBM is working on “Smart Mirror” technology alongside with Vero Moda to bring a virtual dressing room to their stores. Smart Mirror is expected to enhance customers’ offline shopping experience through interactive fitting rooms which will connect retailers and customers digitally (link). This is a big opportunity for stores to re-invent their in-store experience and this looks to be something all stores may be attempting in the distant future. Now think about the marketing space these mirrors will bring, cross-sells, up-sells, even content and suggestions like “Kim Kardashian wears this”. Managing and delivering this content is certainly going to be a challenge.
Earlier this year, CoreMedia announced the ability to have a centralized content strategy for all content, including in-store displays. We are seeing all kinds of displays in stores today, most of them are posters or prints or what I like to call “static content”. I was recognizing this in one of my favorite stores, Dillard’s. Take a look at all of the static marketing content in these pictures I took in different departments, visually it’s very impressive:
Now, imagine if those were digital displays, connected to the internet, and centrally managed by marketing? Imagine being able to deliver location-based digital content to a specific department in a specific store – or the same content to the same department in other stores. That would #beIconic and I think it’s coming.
If you aren’t familiar with this concept, take a look at this short video I put together showing how a marketing person can easily control what is displayed on these televisions from the same tool they use for the other channels, the CoreMedia Studio: