Ever since Tom Hanks played Chopsticks on a giant toy floor-piano in BIG, shopping has been morphing into a form of entertainment. Now, shoppertainment is set to become the “go-to” retail tactic to build brand loyalty and encourage customers to buy.
Shoppertainment – that is, the retail strategy of creating experiences and events in-store to engage customers and compel purchasing – has increased over recent years as global lifestyle habits have changed.
Head of global lifestyle brands under the Fifth and Pacific umbrella, Bill McComb, is one of many industry leaders who believes that retailers must embrace the shoppertainment model. “Entertainment is the key reason to go to malls now,” he told FutuRetail conference attendees in February this year.
Large brands, independent niche retailers, department stores, and pop-up retailers are all making use of shoppertainment strategies to create in-store experiences:
In each of these cases, shoppertainment tactics are being used to revitalize and refresh the shopping experience while creating a personal connection between the product and the shopper. Shoppertainment allows a brand to renew its story by evoking a sense of wonder, curiosity and playfulness.
A PERCH display draws on all of the strengths of a shoppertainment strategy without requiring a major re-fit or an ongoing commitment to hosting in-store activities. A PERCH promotional display can be in place for a couple of weeks or a month, as we have done in partnership with Cole Haan in New York City, where store display content has been updated on a monthly basis to create buzz around featured products.
The ease with which stores can create and update PERCH digital content allows for savvy retailers to continually develop compelling in-store interactive engagement centered around a store’s products and associated digital content.
Shoppertainment is a stand-out strategy for retail to employ to spark conversations with customers and create exciting in-store experiences. Learn more about how to use shoppertainment techniques by following us on Twitter or contact us to discuss more.
Images: PERCH interactive sunglasses display; PERCH art board photo from our recent interactive display at STORY.
Our PERCH CEO and Founder, Jared Schiffman, has been selected as one of this year’s Digital Mavericks in the annual roundup by DETAILS Magazine. Alongside Jack Dorsey (Square), Rachel Botsman (Collaborative Lab), and Chris Morton (Lyst), Jared was honored as one of the “reinventors of retail”.
Speaking on Bloomberg TV, DETAILS Deputy Editor Jesse Ashlock explained why Jared (and PERCH) has been identified as a maverick: DETAILS was keen to acknowledge PERCH, noting how our interactive retail displays “make the retail experience more exciting and more enriching for the consumer”.
Jared and the rest of the digital mavericks are featured in both the online and print version of the style mag throughout April.
To coincide with the April publication, we were proud to show off our maverick flair with two retail displays for the DETAILS launch party on March 27, at New York City’s New Museum.
Our Mr Porter display (above) featured products from the online retailer specializing in men’s style, while our Maker’s Mark display (left) created an interactive bar that showcased cocktail recipes as guests poured themselves a drink, while being chased across the table by animated ice cubes.
We’re proud to be helping open a new door into the world of retail. Our displays on the night demonstrated why we have been recognized by the style team: we brought an online retailer into the physical world, and enhanced a physical brand with engaging digital content. It’s what Jesse Ashlock from DETAILS had been so excited about with PERCH: for showing how technology that uses the same approach “that is making e-commerce so powerful, can be applied to the brick-and-mortar store.”
At DSE 2013, PERCH received a DIGI Award for “Best Interactive Digital Signage Product for Retail” and fast became discussion-topic-of-choice amongst the industry buzz at this year’s Digital Signage Expo.
Major brands and department stores were first in line at PERCH’s exhibition stall on the opening day of Digital Signage Expo 2013. As the expo got underway, PERCH received news that it had won the DIGI Award in the best retail digital signage category. We’re proud to be in the company of all DIGI Award winners including Premier Mounts and Pro-Motion Technology Group, who were first-in-class for their digital signage content projects.
PERCH Founder and CEO, Jared Schiffman, was on hand at the PERCH stall: “We ran out of our business cards, brochures and postcards in the first four hours,” Jared recounts. “We knew there would be a lot of interest but as this was the biggest DSE ever held, the response was even greater than we had hoped! There was a lot more interest from the southern hemisphere – Brazil and Australia, for example – than we expected, and we met with most of the major retailers attending the Expo.”
Jared participated in the DSE Keynote Panel on ‘A Framework for the Future’, which caused creative minds in the audience to stir up in excitement at the potential PERCH offers to the retail digital signage industry. DSE organizers walked away from the event noting that PERCH “pushes the limits of what digital signage and display technologies are all about”.
One of the unique aspects about PERCH that surprised Expo attendees was how the technology disrupts retail digital signage norms to keep the focus on the retail products. “PERCH is all about interacting with physical products and then building media around those interactions,” Jared told Gary Kayye in an interview for audio-visual publishers, rAVe, at the event.
Thanks to the DIGI Awards judging panel and all those who approached us at DSE about our retail digital signage win. If you would like to get in touch with Jared or see a PERCH demo in action, feel free to contact us or follow us on Twitter.
Download the press release here PERCH_DSE2013.pdf
In addition to the in-person demo, Jared Schiffman and Katherine Keane of PERCH will be able to discuss insights from two recent events: FutuRetail in London and the Digital Signage Expo 2013 in Las Vegas.
The Study is an apt venue for PERCH to appear in London. Designed as a versatile, experimental space for retailers and designers to create events or test new retail experiences in a controlled platform, The Study has already cultivated a reputation as being one of the most innovative and exciting spaces on the London High Street.
Recent campaigns held at The Study include Wrapology (left): the UK’s luxury packaging retailers used the venue to launch a Diamond Jubilee commemorative range of products. During London Fashion Week, Clarins Daily Energizers (right) used the space to create a juice and spa experience for their younger demographic, and were able to finetune their new product range thanks to the feedback and needs of their visitors.
There are still some opportunities to book an appointment to attend a PERCH demo at The Study. If you’re interested in checking out PERCH in action and learning more about the process involved in creating interactive in-store displays using our technology, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
PERCH Interactive will soon be introducing the PERCH retail display technology to retailers, brands, and digital agencies in the United Kingdom.
After several recent inquiries from across the UK, we are pleased to now be available to talk in person with retailers, brands and digital agencies about how PERCH technology can delight and engage UK shoppers. We are keen to meet with retail outlets, creative teams, and visual merchandisers who want to see PERCH in action.
PERCH Director of Marketing and Client Relations, Katherine Keane, will be speaking at FutuRetail, the retail leadership event, alongside industry heavyhitters including:
“We are excited to be involved in FutuRetail, and to be presenting as part of such an exciting program. FutuRetail is focused on the trends currently transforming the very nature of retail, and of, course, PERCH has a big role to play in where retail is heading,” says Katherine.
Katherine will speak as part of a panel on ‘Creating the perfect shopper experience’.
PERCH has already been making some waves in the UK after founder Jared Schiffman presented via Skype at the fashion startup event, Decoded London last November. At the time, Jared was unable to demonstrate the technology in person as Hurricane Sandy had caused airport closures in New York. But retailers and fashion media in attendance were intrigued by the potential of PERCH, and we were proud to be recognized as an audience favorite.
Following Katherine’s panel participation at FutuRetail, PERCH will be available for demonstrations with retailers, fashion outlets, and design agencies from Monday 4 March to Wednesday 6 March. Alongside Katherine, PERCH founder Jared Schiffman will be available to answer questions and discuss how the technology is currently being used across the pond. Fresh from presenting at the Digital Signage Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, also being held at the end of February, Jared will be able to share his insights from that leading industry expo with PERCH demo guests.
PERCH still has a limited number of demonstration appointment slots available. We invite our London-based readers to make contact with us and arrange an opportunity to see PERCH in the UK!
Co-founder and CEO of PERCH Interactive, Jared Schiffman, will be speaking as part of a breakfast panel at Digital Signage Expo 2013, being held 26 February to 1 March at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
PERCH will also be on demonstration on the DSE showroom floor. Make sure to visit Jared and see PERCH in action at DSE: PERCH will be located at FT12 in the Innovator Zone. Book an appointment with us or just drop by and see how PERCH helps build a conversation between the retailer, the product, and the shopper.
At the DSE (Digital Signage Expo) 2013, Jared will join fellow panelists Curt Bailey (Sundberg-Ferar), Tim Huckaby (InterKnowlogy), and Christine Outram (Re:Imagine Group) at the Samsung-sponsored keynote breakfast panel on Thursday, 28 February. The session, titled Digital Signage 2020: Eyes on the Future, will be an opportunity for Jared to share PERCH’s experiences working with retailers like Cole Haan, treasure&bond and Kiehl’s Since 1851 to discuss the role interaction will play in the store display promotions of the future.
“My take is that technology should not be the experience. In-store engagement should be centered on the shopper and their connection with a product,” says Jared. “Display technology should enable and enhance that interaction, not replace it. When a customer picks up a product on a PERCH display, that’s the beginning of the experience, and it’s also the moment that they are most receptive to receiving information. PERCH makes the product the interface to the experience.”
The Digital Signage Expo 2013 is again expected to bring together retailers and industry professionals from around the world. Over 4,000 attended the event in 2012. This year, expo streams include thought leaders and industry speakers talking about interaction technology, digital signage content development, and analytics. Please contact us if you would like to meet with Jared at the Digital Signage Expo.
Emotions are at the core of our shopping behavior.
We are all emotive shoppers. While we may like to think that we base our buying decisions on logic and rational thought, the reality is that the vast majority of our purchases are motivated by our feelings at the time. This extends to how we feel about our purchases long after we have left the store.
It is little wonder emotions are often called feelings. Touching and feeling things initiates an emotive connection. The spark between our hands and our hearts ignites a sense of pleasure at being connected to the world. This is one of the joys of retail – a chance to try products out and imagine how they fit into, and enhance, our lives.
According to the Association of Consumer Research, the first stage of our buying decision is a sense of ‘activation’: First we must become motivated in some way and ready to be involved with a product. If we have heard about a brand online or via print media, we may have been ‘activated’ before we arrive at the store, eager to find out more.
For window shoppers and passers-by, an intriguing display like PERCH can activate us from bored browser to curious shopper. It can help us move past the endless cycle of ‘further research’ to being ready to make a purchase.
Picking up, holding and feeling products in one’s hands is a direct path to activation. PERCH displays ignite the senses by enticing shoppers to touch and feel, smell or taste product samples, and rewards participation with media that further engages the senses and stirs emotions.
PERCH media can be harnessed to appeal to a shoppers’ motivations, whether it be fear, pride, altruism or reward-seeking:
In-store retail should engage with us emotionally and leave us with a sense of pleasure and a long-lasting positive memory of the brand and the experience. To learn more about this connection between shopper emotions and the buying decision process, follow us on Twitter.
This year, to coincide with the National Retail Federation (NRF) 2013 conference, retailers can get an insider’s look at PERCH with a personal demonstration of our retail display technology.
This January, we are opening up our doors and our diaries to welcome NRF delegates to New York City. NRF 2013 delegates are invited to book an appointment to see PERCH firsthand for yourself, while in the city to attend the retail industry’s largest expo and thought leadership event.
NRF 2013 is held from January 13 to 16 in the heart of New York City’s westside at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center. This industry conference is attended by over 25,000 delegates from around the country and globe, looking to get the jump on what will no doubt be an aggressive year of competition as retailers online and offline jostle to be heard and remembered by digital-enabled shoppers.
The importance of an engaging in-store environment is sure to be one of the key talking points at this year’s event. New York Times retail reporter Stephanie Clifford revealed the extent of change in an article last December, detailing a resurgence in bricks-and-mortar locations “catering to customers who want to see what they are buying in person, and who see shopping as a social event”. Clifford revealed that in-store sales are as high as double online transactions, with repeat customers buying more frequently and sooner than their online counterparts.
“Creating an engaging in-store experience that brings together everything your customers know about your brand, and giving it physical form is the key to retail displays in 2013”, says Jared Schiffman, co-founder of PERCH Interactive.
“We welcome all NRF 2013 delegates to New York and invite you to make a personal appointment to see PERCH displays in action. We can show you how to maintain consistency across channels by using existing branding in a PERCH display, walk you through the shopper analytics data that shows you how customers are interacting in-store with your products, and give you a first-hand feel for whether this technology would help you ramp up sales and build customer loyalty in 2013.”
NRF delegates can also see PERCH in action at treasure&bond’s Soho Store. To book an appointment, contact us now. PERCH congratulates the National Retail Federation for hosting this annual event and wishes all NRF 2013 delegates a thought-provoking and inspiring four days.
When incorporating in-store promotions into a brand’s multi channel strategy, consistency is key.
Shoppers access a variety of media to learn about a brand and its products before making any buying decision. Consumers move effortlessly between multiple media channels – like watching TV while thumbing through a magazine or doing research on a tablet while standing in a store. To respond to these trends, the store itself becomes another media channel that must reflect and magnify what the customer is expecting from the brand.
In multi channel communications, consistency is key. It maintains a brand’s identity and helps to create a story that resonates with shoppers about how a particular product can meet their needs and enhance their lives. The in-store experience breathes life into how a shopper has previously viewed a brand. The store display draws together messages from a variety of communication channels to forge a consistent identity: a retail store continues the conversation that has already begun between a customer and a brand in print, online and on mobile devices.
Writing for Forbes recently, Maribel Lopez noted several factors (in addition to pricing and availability) that “should remain consistent as the consumer shops across channels, such as the product image and product specifications.” When product information and imagery differs across channels, “inconsistency will destroy customer confidence, dilute the branding and cause shoppers to switch products or retailers.”
Kiehl’s Since 1851 is one retailer that truly understands the value of consistency. They use imagery and store promotional opportunities to further enhance their brand identity. One of the key strengths of the Kiehl’s brand is that they are well known for their generous sharing of product samples. This helps them demonstrate the quality of their product range to new customers around the world.
ABOVE: Existing campaign imagery is converted into a PERCH display table that encourages shoppers to pick up the product range
Our recent PERCH displays for Kiehl’s Since 1851 showed how a consistent promotion can flow from a shopper’s initial product awareness (oftentimes through social media), to store livery, to in-store opportunities, where shoppers are encouraged to sample products and try tester bottles. Here, PERCH used the impact of consistent branding to bring the product to life in the hands of the shopper. The PERCH display for Kiehl’s is not only the physical setting for the fragrances, it is also the backdrop for the testing experience, unfolding through carefully designed imagery and messages that are revealed at the exact moment of interaction. The theme of “pure scents from around the world” is brought to life with an animation of a biplane that takes the shopper on a trip to distant parts of of the world. Handwritten postcards share details of the exotic origins of each fragrance, all the while leading the shopper to try out the new blends and make a purchase.
At PERCH Interactive, we work with our retail clients to ensure that the shopper experience is consistent and seamless. We encourage use of existing content assets and help build on the multi channel content a shopper may have already seen online and in print. In-store promotions must work to create a deep resonance with all the previous instances where a shopper may have interacted with a product. More than ever, the store is a platform for this consistent branding to make a personal impact.
Follow us on Twitter to see more examples of how we enhance the shopper experience and help brands consolidate their identity through an engaging in-store experience.
‘Tis the season of goodwill: so who better to partner with than New York retail philanthropists treasure&bond? Our latest PERCH display is located at 350 West Broadway and celebrates the gift of giving with a unique insight into five new products available at the treasure&bond store.
This holiday season will be a game-changer for many brick-and-mortar retailers as the year’s trends in shopper behavior culminate to show how much the world of retail has evolved. Shoppers are demanding more access to digital content in-store and are looking for immersive experiences that make shopping a fun and personal activity.
To usher in a new approach to in-store shopping, we’re proud to have our retail display technology, PERCH in the treasure&bond store this Christmas.
Our latest display showcases five products that are each so unique and so creative that they may be confusing or be under-appreciated at first glance. Products on display include Rewined Candles, DOSE nail polish, Minimergency for Her travel kit, SUCK UK game coasters, and a bright red Freitag bag. All are so novel that their immediate use can be easily overlooked: the candle is wine-scented, the nail polish disguised as pills, the Freitag bag can carry more than you would expect and easily attaches to bike handles for transport convenience…
At our ‘Gift of Giving’ PERCH display, store customers are enticed to pick up each item and as they do so, short stop-motion videos treat them to a wider appreciation of the product in their hands.
For example, the 16 essentials for a ‘girl on the go’ packed into a MINIMERGENCY Kit are not immediately obvious to a passer-by. When shoppers pick up the product, a video reveals the items included in each set. Shopper interest is piqued, and customers are encouraged to look more closely at the product they are holding to find out even more.
treasure&bond is a unique retail model, in which all sales profits from the store are donated to children’s charities. We could think of no finer way to share the holiday spirit than by offering a PERCH display to help shoppers choose a gift purchase that keeps on giving. New Yorkers can visit treasure&bond and play with the PERCH table at 350 West Broadway. No matter where you are, you can keep up with what store customers are saying about the ‘Gift of Giving’ display table on the treasure&bond Facebook page.
The Perch team wishes you a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to creating engaging retail experiences for consumers, brands and retailers in 2013.
The Perch team has so much to be thankful for this holiday season – certainly not least, the brands and retailers we’ve been working with over the past few months here in New York City. We’re getting in the holiday spirit, and we’re offering PERCH interactive gift tables to a handful of stores in New York just for the holiday season, free of charge!
Pictured above is one example of what a PERCH gift table might look like. We will work with you to create a custom design tailored to the unique look and feel of your store or brand. If you’re interested in bringing PERCH to your store for the holidays, please contact us with your store name, location and contact details.
The holidays are fast approaching, and PERCH units are limited, so if you’re interested in giving PERCH a whirl, now’s the perfect time to drop us a line!
On November 1, PERCH presented at the London fashion startup competition, Decoded Fashion UK. PERCH was one of 10 startups selected from over 80 applicants for the competition. Following a nail-biting judging panel, we came in second place behind audience favorite and London locals SnapFashion.
While the Hurricane in New York stymied the planned trip to London, PERCH founder Jared Schiffman was able to make a three-minute pitch remotely by recording a short video that was shown to the audience.
“It was an honor to be a part of this leading startup event, and we would like to thank everyone in the audience who voted for us, and to Liz Bacelar for encouraging our involvement,” said Jared. “We wish we could have been there in person so everyone could experience PERCH first hand.” Industry writers Katia Zherebtsova and Jamillah Knowles covered the event for Huffington Post’s UK Tech blog and The Next Web respectively.
Thanks to DECODED, we also presented in New York on November 13, as part of an industry meetup focused on new directions in fashion retail with other tech startups Nomi, Sonar and Signature.
There was some great buzz on Twitter following the PERCH UK presentation. Several audience members tweeted about PERCH, including Amalia Agathou, editor of the Greek edition of Glamour magazine, and Amber Atherton, the inspiration behind the UK series Made in Chelsea, and founder of jewellery site MyFlashTrash.
The PERCH team is planning to visit London – weather permitting! – in early 2013. Please contact us if you are interested in meeting with us for a hands-on demonstration next time we’re in London!
Photo courtesy of @shoperiin
PERCH was privileged to be a part of the most recent Future of Fashion event hosted by Projective Space and Fashion Digital Daily last night in New York City.
On Tuesday, October 16th at coworking hub Projective Space, PERCH co-founder Jared Schiffman presented to a crowded room of industry insiders keen to learn more about the newest tech startups offering retail innovations to the fashion retail industry. The event – which also included presentations by Clothes Horse, Handshake, and D’Marie Group – was organized by fashion editor and digital strategist Laura Zapata, as part of the Fashion Digital Daily’s Future of Fashion series.
ABOVE: Jared Schiffman and the audience of Future of Fashion. Photos by Romain Corvez, courtesy of Projective Space.
“While our retail display technology can be adapted to any product range or sector, it has been exciting to be involved with New York’s fashion scene over the last few months,” said Jared after the event. “Clothing designers and outlets, footwear and accessories retailers are all really excited to see PERCH in action and immediately appreciate the possibilities of enabling customers to physically interact with a brand.”
The Future of Fashion series was designed to connect startups with industry professionals in fashion and retail, and the PERCH presentation was part of a showcase focused on business-to-business (B2B) startup services. “It is a huge part of how startups are helping the Fashion ecosystem,” explained organizer Laura Zapata.
After the event, Lala Lopez, fashion digital journalist and former stylist tweeted that “The Future of Retail is indeed in PERCH Interact. Using tech to enhance the in store experience of the consumer”. Liza Kindred, founder of Third Wave Fashion, said “PERCH Interact is a sexy augmented reality physical product”.
Thanks to Fashion Digital Daily for inviting us to be a part of this event, to our wonderful co-presenters from Clothes Horse, Handshake and D’Marie Group, to the industry panel members who offered some inspiring feedback, and to the Future of Fashion’s enthusiastic audience.
You can keep up with our presentations at future events by following us on Twitter.
A multi channel strategy for retail recognizes that shoppers access a variety of media when making purchasing decisions. Shoppers might view curated product collections on their tablets, get store location directions on their smartphones, and check social media mentions from their laptops when considering a product purchase. Those that do so are the most coveted consumers in retail: they show a willingness to remain connected and are keen to engage with a brand. They are more likely to buy, and buy often. According to BizReport, shoppers that move from one media type to another when deciding a purchase not only spend 15-30% more, but are more likely to become brand ambassadors: sharing their likes and promoting the brand to their networks.
Amongst these (and increasingly, all) shoppers, the brick and mortar retail store becomes another media channel. Of course, shoppers still see the store as the physical locale to carry out a purchase transaction and to collect their goods, but increasingly, a store is expected to be much more: to provide a consistent brand experience alongside digital, print and other media channels. While 57% of consumers may begin their shopping with online research, 92% of retail transactions are in-store, highlighting the value for a store to provide a seamless experience between their digital brand story and the experience that shoppers come to get at a retail outlet.
This is one of the greatest advantages a physical retail store has over online and mobile retail. TrendWatch on industry blog VMSD recently wrote that “shoppers are looking for information and richness of experience that only technology can deliver – but without the complexity usually found in technology deployments.” Stores must learn how to make use of digital content to not only match the online and mobile experience of shoppers but to extend this into the physical world: helping shoppers use digital content to connect with products and to make their purchasing decisions.
PERCH Interactive helps retailers make digital content accessible in-store and to link this content with products in order to create an immersive, emotional moment that reinforces the shoppers’ decision to buy.
Product information and social media reviews are the most trusted sources of information sought by customers. By including live feeds of social reviews in a PERCH display promotion, customers can gain access to valuable digital content as they handle a product sample, helping them envision how they will use it in their life, and comparing their use with other customers. Providing access to the same digital content that shoppers can access online also deters the customer from using their mobile to conduct research in-store, reducing the risk of showrooming from a potential buyer. In-store content delivered through technologies like PERCH help shoppers make the connection between the content on other media channels accessed to learn more about a brand.
Digital content is enhanced by engaging the senses so that a natural, emotive affinity is created with the product. The senses of touch, smell, and sight are all considered when designing content for a PERCH disply in order to create a multi-sensory experience for the shopper.
Around the world, retailers are realizing the value of perceiving the store as another media channel and designing content that reflects the strengths a store can offer to the shopper. David Walmsley from UK retail giant Marks and Spencers spoke at an industry conference earlier this year to share how they created “a virtuous circle between all customer touch points”. By providing a seamless content experience using digital technologies in-store, they increased sales by 15% in the first quarter of 2012, with some product categories in particular seeing even greater sales increases.
Digital content in-store and curating a retail space as part of a multi-channel marketing strategy is still a relatively new concept. There are opportunities now for early adopters to gain the lead by using technologies like PERCH to better respond to shopper trends by re-positioning how they provide content in-store. Follow us on Twitter to learn more.
Research from Australia’s Deakin University argues that retailers are facing “the most fundamental period of change since the introduction of the shopping mall”. In the latest report from the ‘Retail Acumen’ series, industry analysts Steve Ogden-Barnes and Danielle Barclay explain how retail stores can fortify themselves against the risks of internet shopping and m-commerce by offering shoppers an experience that engages the senses.
The research report Store Sense promotes the rise of the ‘sensory store’. Ogden-Barnes and Barclay explain that by engaging multiple senses, brick-and-mortar retailers can build brand loyalty, increase in-store purchases, and future-proof their businesses by appealing to youth markets. The authors map a sensory engagement process in which ‘shopping arousal’ is triggered by engaging the senses to create an emotional and memorable interaction.
Touch and sight are the most fundamental senses that retail stores can leverage to create a sensory experience. Building retail displays and in-store promotional stands that encourage shoppers to touch the merchandise is a powerful strategy to help consumers form a bond with products and to affirm purchasing decisions.
Visual merchandisers are acutely aware of the importance of sight in maximizing sales volume. Shoppers view a store’s products at 45 degree angle as they move through a store, so placement of display tables can be positioned to more easily get noticed. The ready availability of product information that shoppers can search themselves enriches the sensory experience, as shoppers are actively engaged in finding out more about a product, and feel rewarded for unveiling the information that can help them make their purchasing decision.
Smell is perhaps the most underplayed sense in retail. Olfactory perception is one of the most powerful sensory touchpoints: often sparking personal memories and creating connections in the shoppers mind. We recently worked with Kiehl’s Since 1851 to promote their new Aromatic Blends fragrance range. Our PERCH displays showcased the new fragrances and encouraged shoppers to pick up the sample bottles and smell the aromas, created from blending fragrances synonymous with some of the most exotic regions of the world. It was surprising to see, too, the number of visitors to our STORY display who picked up the bags selected by Of A Kind to smell the rich, warm leather material.
Generating multi-sensory experiences delights and entertains shoppers, giving them the opportunity to feel a real connection to the products they are about to buy. At PERCH Interactive, we work with each retail client to design multi-sensory engagement experiences that reflect the process outlined by Ogden-Barnes and Barclay. Shoppers get to understand the brand at a deeper level, walking away with a memorable (often playful) experience… and a store purchase.
Follow us on Twitter to learn more.
In some ways, the fashion industry has more of a natural resilience than other retail sectors to the increasing competition from online sites and emerging consumer trends like showrooming. Our desire to touch and feel the fabrics and to make sure we can get a great fit and style for our bodies and our complexions means more of us prefer to shop in-store for clothing apparel, accessories and footwear.
But like any retail business, fashion brands must compete for attention in a global marketplace, provide a personalized experience, and demonstrate how their brand and products reflect the lifestyle and interests of the consumer. Like any other retail sector, fashion retailers must interact with store visitors and provide opportunities for people to get excited about, and engage with, their product range.
At PERCH Interactive, we were proud to be a part of New York Fashion Week this year. Our win in the Project PopUp Store initiative – alongside 10 other fashion retail tech entrepreneurs – has given us the opportunity to establish a demonstration site all month at the retail complex STORY, in New York’s fashion retail corridor on 10th Avenue.
See all of the media coverage of PERCH at Project Pop-Up Store:
We’ve been delighted with the response from visitors and fashion businesses who have immediately seen how the PERCH display tables can enhance the shopping experience and increase sales volume. PERCH supports fashion brands and outlets by encouraging shoppers to feel the fabrics, interact with new season items, and to learn more about how to customize apparel, footwear and accessories to match individual tastes. Information and digital content on PERCH display can include details of what items are in stock (such as color and size ranges), product information, photos and videos, and online and social media comments and reviews.
Follow us on Twitter to be learn more about our in-store displays and to keep up with how PERCH is showcasing new trends in fashion retail.
When you are developing a product, and you are close to that product, and that product is a new type of thing, you often get caught up in the incremental advances, and occasionally lose sight of the big picture. You forget about the salient features — the features that made you make the product in the first place.
In order to remedy this myopic distortion, we came up with a Top 10 list for PERCH. These are the 10 features that make PERCH great and that, when taken as a whole, differentiate PERCH from all the other products on the market.
1. PERCH Attracts Customers to Products
2. PERCH Encourages Customers to Touch and Pick Up Products
3. PERCH Rewards Customers for Interacting with Products
4. PERCH Educates Customers about Products
5. PERCH Tracks Customer Interaction with Products
6. PERCH Offers Detailed Analytics via the PERCH Network
7. PERCH Can Be Refreshed Daily, Weekly or Whenever via the PERCH Network
8. PERCH Allows Retailers to Speak Directly to Customers, Using Digital Media, at the Exact Moment of Contact
9. PERCH Makes the Product the Interface to Media
10. PERCH Transforms the Shopping Experience
Are there a few more than ten features? Sure. But having a constraint is a good thing. It forces us to focus on what’s important and reminds us of exactly what we’re trying to achieve.
“Touch retail” acknowledges the sensory power of allowing shoppers to handle items before purchase: a key strength in-store retail should harness to compete against online shopping sites.
The death of the retail store has been greatly exaggerated. While the Internet and mobile devices have increased in importance for many shoppers, new technology has not sounded the death knell for the traditional brick-and-mortar store. Instead, a more complex relationship has emerged in which shoppers now connect to a retail business’ brand across a number of mobile, web, social, audio-visual, and print ‘touchpoints.’ All of these reinforce the shopper’s desire to go to a store to physically touch the merchandise prior to making a purchase.
In fact, while online retail sites attract significant consumer attention in their own right, they are also often the motivating force for shoppers to come in to physical stores. One recent study showed that 52% of shoppers research online but buy in-store. Latest research also shows that while more people are shopping online, the volume of sales is greater in-store. Many of us still want to handle a product and feel it or try it for ourselves before we commit to a purchase. (Leading the global agency Trendwatching to coin the term ‘retail renaissance’, in which retail visitors are encouraged: “Please Do Touch the Merchandise”.)
Harvard Business Review bloggers and Professors of Marketing Lawrence Williams and Joshua Ackerman argue that by touching a product, we are creating a “symbolic connection” not just between us and the product, but between us and the brand or store where we are shopping, stating “consumers use their hands to connect with brands.”
Meanwhile, industry website Chain Store Age recently reported on an Oracle study that found 75% of shoppers go to a store to see the product before they buy it. Coupled with consumer research into buying patterns that shows 67% of shoppers are ready to buy after touching and sampling products physically before purchase, brick and mortar retail will continue to have a strong future potential, if it creates opportunities for visitors to handle products before they buy.
Technologies like PERCH give customers a reason to pick up and feel a product, stimulating a sense of engagement with a product in a way that becomes an essential part of the in-store shopper experience. The power of touch retail may be the competitive advantage stores need in a world where buyers have an instant connection to shopping wherever they go.
Follow us on twitter for links to the research quoted in this article and to learn more about how touch retail creates a more valuable experience for shoppers.
PERCH Interactive has been selected as a winner in one of New York City’s key Fashion Week Initiatives: Project Pop-Up NYC. As one of 11 retailers and new technologies representing the city’s next generation of fashion industry leaders, we will have a space in the fittingly-named STORY retail complex on 10th Avenue.
“We are thrilled to have been chosen, and are excited to have an opportunity to showcase our display technology alongside some of the city’s next wave of fashion industry innovators,” said Jared Schiffman, co-founder of Perch Interactive. “One of the strengths of PERCH is that it helps retailers tell a clear and compelling story about each of the products on display. So, it’s apt that we will be located in the new retail space STORY, which is built around this whole premise of creating story-telling spaces for retail businesses and their customers.”
PERCH Interactive and ten other winners were selected from over 130 submissions by leading fashion and NYC business influencers including:
From September 7 to the end of the month, we will be at the revolutionary new retail space, STORY, the City’s PopUp Store partner for New York City Fashion Week. We will be demonstrating our PERCH technology for fashion industry visitors with a display featuring Baggu’s new leather bags. The bags are actually being sold by fellow winner and online boutique Of A Kind.
Read more about Project Pop-Up NYC and check the opening hours of STORY in the official press release. Or, you can just head over to STORY and see for yourself. As always, you contact us by email or on Twitter to schedule a time with our creative staff, if you prefer.
“We welcome everyone to come and check out our PERCH display at STORY. This is the perfect chance to feel the buzz of New York City Fashion Week, to experience the future of retail and fashion, and to discover ten other fashion and technology innovators,” said Jared Schiffman.
This year has made it clear that the consumer electronics retail sector needs a shakeup. The pace of change in home technologies continues to advance at a breakneck pace. Now, more than ever, retail stores need to be able to showcase the value of new electronics to store shoppers.
In-store consumer electronics retail needs to regain peak condition in order to provide customers with a winning experience. Here are our top five moves to help retailers get into shape and re-enter the retail race in 2013.
While some say that showrooming is about researching for the best price, we know the truth is much more about providing an engaging in-store experience for shoppers. Some larger outlets are recognizing this and leasing out their floorspace to manufacturers who are creating mini-stores within a store, focused on enhancing the customer interactive experience with a brand’s product range. A PERCH display table – where digital content responds to how shoppers pick up and interact with a product – helps both brands and independent retailers make their floor space come alive while enriching the shopper’s store visit.
Technology lingo is impenetrable to the average shopper. How many megapixels do you need in a digital camera and, by the way, what are megapixels? Interactive displays help the customer learn by engaging with a product. Use your valuable floorpsace to show the consumer electronics technology in action. Our PERCH display for the vacuum robot Roomba, for example, lets customers see past the product specifications to understand how the appliance will fit into their home.
3. Juggle Comparisons
Does anyone really know how to compare mobile tablets or digital cameras? What are the features that each shopper needs to know about? In the end, it often comes down to which one feels better to hold, which technology feels right in a customer’s hands, and being confident to use a product in every day life. An interactive display can help customers find product features they didn’t know about. Our PERCH displays encourage shoppers to pick up electronics appliances and as they investigate a product’s feel, digital information can be projected to align with their interests and inquiries.
Why is it that such a valuable commodity as consumer electronics gets hidden away on an upper floor, with limited exhibition area and often locked behind glass cabinets? Give customers an opportunity to hold the products, to investigate the technology features, and to appreciate how it feels in their hands. Our smartphone display table, for example, created an out-of-this-world shopper experience with a fun and playful environment in which to test each product offering, and decide which one would offer long-term enjoyment. In-store promotions also need to consider overall shop layout. Give customers a wow factor from the moment they enter the store. A PERCH display table sparks curiosity. We have seen how well-positioned promotions create an experience for all shoppers, as more customers join in and share the experience of discovery at a PERCH display.
One of the (at-present) under-utilized assets of the PERCH Interactive platform is its ability to train store staff in new products and to increase their product knowledge. Customers are increasingly annoyed at store staff who know little about the consumer electronics they are considering purchasing, and are frustrated at the lack of detailed product knowledge available to them in-store. PERCH can be used as a training tool to educate staff about a new product’s features, while the engagement analytics can assist staff by indicating what additional information store customers are researching and most interested in viewing from a PERCH display. This data helps staff to understand what customers want to know, so retailers can pre-empt what information and queries will be asked at the point-of-sale counter.
Shoppers are demanding that retail outlets offer them something more valuable to help them buy consumer electronics, and when they don’t get it, they go online. The race isn’t over but consumer electronics retailers need to flex their engagement muscles to win back shoppers to the potential they have to offer. Contact PERCH to discuss shopper engagement solutions that will help you outperform your competitors in 2013.
The consumer trend of showrooming is creating a new challenge for retailers, who are finding that they have to create ways to get the attention of shoppers even when they are already browsing in-store.
Shoppers now reach for their mobile device first and their wallet second when getting ready to buy. When looking over products in-store, shoppers are likely to get out their smartphones to research product information online before finally committing to a purchase. This trend, referred to as ‘showrooming’, can even result in shoppers buying products online from a competitors’ outlet while standing in your store.
Speaking at an internet retail conference in June this year, Brian Walker, Vice-President at Forrester Research, explained: “Showrooming is about product information and social validation when a shopper is buying a product.”
This understanding of the ‘showrooming’ phenomenon is further confirmed by retail analyst and Fast Company contributor Douglas Crets who recently wrote that “shopping anywhere can make consumers lonely because they keep going from online to offline searching for the same thing – relevancy.”
Understanding what information people want to access when shopping can help consumers see how their product choice alleviates this constant search to fill the void of loneliness.
Consumer trend polling has repeatedly found that the lowest price is not the prime motivator for people’s in-store internet research. People want to confirm the range of colors and sizes a product is available in, for example, and are keen to scan reviews in which other buyers have talked about a product and shared how they use it in their lives.
Offering a connection that creates this sense of social validation when choosing a product, and being able to help a buyer envision using the product in their day-to-day life, is becoming an essential part of good visual merchandising.
Product displays that encourage people to touch and feel samples need to be combined with digital media that helps contextualize the product in an individual shoppers’ life. This approach to visual merchandising can create a bridge that short-circuits the endless showrooming search and can empower a shopper to buy.
After all, consumers have come in to your store to have their desires met, and their purchasing decision affirmed. PERCH displays specialize in overcoming this disconnect by offering retailers the chance to bring product information and social media reviews together as part of an interactive experience.
As shoppers pick up a product sample, digital media content can be choreographed to reveal further details on a product’s range of alternatives (like size, color or available accessories), show tweet feeds of current conversations about a product, link to reviews and Facebook discussions, or display images or Pinterest boards that show how others are already enjoying the product.
The PERCH Interactive approach is fast becoming a cornerstone of effective, contemporary visual merchandising. It allows retailers to focus the attention of a shopper on their initial motivations by igniting the connection between a shopper’s desire to buy with an interactive experience that shows them how the product fits into their social life outside the store.
For more on how our visual merchandising technology can enhance the retail experience, and to learn how PERCH technology can be used in specific industries and at trade shows and events, follow us on Twitter.
Well, experiences happen everyday. These are our everyday experiences. Making breakfast. Taking the subway to work. Getting in bed at night. All authentic and compelling experiences in their own right. Full of sights and sounds, smells and tastes, but nonetheless ordinary, because they happen everyday. So, what makes an experience more than ordinary? What makes it memorable? What are the ingredients of a positive memorable experience?
To start, you need to engage the senses. You don’t need all five at once. Choose two. When you engage two senses at the same time, they reinforce each other. Sight and sound. Sound and touch. Touch and taste. Our brains thrive on associations and you can’t make an association with just one sense. Connections across senses are stimulating and more likely to be unique experiences.
Next, make the experience pleasurable and rewarding. It’s not merely enough to be pleasurable. The pleasure must be in the form of a reward, the result of an intentional choice or action. The view from the top of Montmartre is not just beautiful. It’s beautiful because of the ten flights of stairs it takes to get there. It’s a reward.
Make it surprising. Make it unexpected. While our brains thrive on association, their favorite kind of association is the one they didn’t expect. This is what makes jokes funny and makes surprise parties so memorable. The surprise can’t be a non sequitur. It has to make sense, but can’t be predictable. Things that are predictable are boring. A predictable experience is one you’ve probably had before, and that you’re not likely to remember.
Last, make it a social experience. People are most interested in other people. And, believe it or not, people care about what other people do and what other people say. Facebook has taught us this much. By making an experience social, you multiply the impact for every person involved. Shared experiences tend to be more fun, more engaging and more educational. They also tend to stick our brains longer, because we associate them with the person that the experience was shared with.
If you can make an experience that is multi-sensory, rewarding, unexpected and social, you are on your way to creating a positive and memorable experience. These are the principles that guide the design of every PERCH interactive experience. And this is why the PERCH experience is so effective.
PERCH was mentioned in a recent article in the Huffington Post by New York-based retail designer and architect Jeffrey Hutchison. The story’s headline reveals quite a bit: “Bridging the Retail Gap: What Old and New Commerce Can Learn from Each Other”.
The article echoes what we have been hearing frequently from major retailers who have stopped by to see Perch, “Today, the consumer is forcing change.” Three years ago, if you asked a handful of consumers what role technology plays in their brick-and-mortar shopping experience, they would have given you a blank stare. That has all changed in the past year. “By utilizing mobile commerce on site, customers are bringing e-commerce into the physical store with them, forcing the online and offline worlds to co-exist.” Across the US, consumers suddenly realized that their cell phones could access the same online shopping content that they were accessing at home and at work on their laptops. This collective light bulb moment has sent shockwaves through the retail industry that are still being felt.
In short, just seeing and handling the product are no longer enough. Consumers want information. They want reviews. They want media. They want everything that Amazon gives them in their in-store experience. And, if the retailer doesn’t provide this information, consumers will find it themselves. Herein lies the challenge for retailers: to create an engaging retail shopping experience in which they are still telling the story. Because as soon as the consumer takes out their cell phone, they are just a few taps away from a competitors site.
This is one area where PERCH can help. PERCH enables retailers to provide the information and media that consumers now crave. And that information can be dynamic. It can be updated overnight and can even be drawn from online sources such as Facebook, Twitter or the databases that drive the retailer’s own website. And, the best part of it all is that the information is displayed right where the consumers attention is, right next to the products themselves, right where it belongs.