Today’s consumer has different demands than previous generations. They’re technologically savvy and expect retailers to deliver an engaging customer experience both online and in-store, or they’ll simply shop elsewhere.
With unlimited access to product information, researching and purchasing a product should be easy. Consumers expect product details, peer reviews, and competitor pricing to be available both online and in retail stores to help them make an educated shopping decision. In fact, a new study from BIA/Kelsey and ConStat shows 97% of all consumers use some form of online media to research products, with an average of 7.9 different sources of information for local shopping.
How virtual displays bridge the gap
One way to cater to the educated shopper is to use interactive virtual displays (in-store tablets where consumers can shop or browse online). Virtual displays bridge the e-commerce and brick and mortar store gap; consumers can research product details on the spot and access products that may not be stocked in-store. They can dynamically see “related products,” opening the opportunity to purchase additional items. Furthermore, they can purchase and ship gifts to friends or home with the touch of a button on the tablet. Virtual displays offer brand consistency – letting customers shop seamlessly online or in-store.
Sales reps, meanwhile, are right there to answer customers’ questions and show them additional fabrics, sizes or colors, to nudge them towards a sale. Without limiting reps to in-store stock alone, there are more opportunities to upsell and satisfy customers’ trickier requests.
Virtual displays in action
Major brands found stores with interactive, cutting edge virtual displays outperform those that do not.
Take Adidas. The average Adidas store stocks around 200 shoes, while the company offers over 4,000 different options. Chris Aubrey, Adidas’ Director of Commercial Experience explains, “We noticed we were unable to offer shoppers the full range of Adidas Olympic products in our stores. There just isn’t enough space.”
Once their stores were outfitted with virtual displays, customers could access the full line at home and in-stores, with the additional bonus of personal customer service. After four years of testing and continuous rollouts to new stores, Adidas saw sales increase more than 40% in every store outfitted with a virtual display.
Build-a-Bear, a retailer where customers design and build their own teddy bear, wanted to create a better brand experience for their consumers. “Today’s kids engage in digital play while simultaneously interacting with more traditional toys like dolls and teddy bears,” explains Dorrie Krueger, Managing Director, Strategic Planning and Guest Ex-bear-ience. Sales shot up more than 30% when they installed touch-screen displays that let customers design their bears on-screen and then build them hands-on off screen.
Distributors/retailers – rise to the occasion to beat out competitors
This is a win-win for both retailers and distributors. Proactive distributors can outfit their retailers with these helpful technologies to better sell their products. By taking advantage of virtual displays, distributors arm retailers’ sales reps with up-to-date information needed to make the sale. They can help build their brand and showcase their entire product line to consumers. Retailers, in turn, can enjoy many of the same benefits. They can meet the demands of the new consumer head-on and become known as the destination to get access to ALL their favorite products.
The best way to empower your employees with product information and to wow consumers on the sales floor? A handy mobile virtual display with up-to-date product information and access to your full product line (both in-store products and virtual stock in every size and color you offer!). These mobile apps are store reps’ greatest asset when talking to knowledgeable consumers.