Our wheelhouse is developing customer engagement strategies and “Omnichannel” experiences for major consumer-facing brands. However, one of the truly enjoyable opportunities of our business is helping smaller retail business leverage the digital age to create customer shopping experiences on par with the largest most sophisticated brands. For the past six months, we’ve been helping smaller, but rapidly growing retailers leverage point-of-sale, digital commerce, catalog and sales team technologies, sometimes (for the adventurous) at the “bleeding edge,” so the customer experiences “mirror” one another, regardless of medium—physical or digital. Our mantra:
“Singularity in Experience”
In other words, if it can happen in store, it can happen online.
Our tactics are deconstructing experience silos between digital engagement and in-real-life (IRL) engagement. And some solutions have been unconventional: personalizing a customer profile at the point of shopping by offering the ability to digitally capture their picture—whether online or actually in the physical store with a supplied digital camera. Another offers the ability to digitally capture a shelf QR code label and have product information appear on a digital screen nearby or through digital kiosk screens making product information the primary focus rather than product brands labels alone.
We’re doing these kinds of things for a small retailer right now in a modest but hot market of Portland, Oregon. It’s not an Apple Store, Whole Foods, or Nordstrom—with a commensurate marketing technology budget. Rather, we’re working with a very forward-thinking seasoned retailer/entrepreneur seizing the opportunity of falling costs and increasing capabilities of digital technology, combined with our expertise on designing intelligent customer experiences.
At the risk of honking our own horn, in the midst of this work we stumbled on an article from CIO.com, which details effective retail-to-web omnichannel advances—the very advances we’re employing for this Portland retailer (paraphrasing):
- Equip stores with branded tablets and digital kiosks
- Wi-Fi enable your premise(s) – and embrace show-rooming
- Use location-based services, such as iBeacons
- Display user-generated content in-store
- Make it as easy for online customers to get their product questions answered as they can at the physical store
- Encourage free in-store pickup for online customers
- Recreate the in-store visual and touch experience online
- Enable mobile payment in store
In other words, strive for singularity in customer experience—exactly our mantra. To our surprise, we realized through our own work with this Portland retailer – we’re deploying six of those eight recommendations. We’re pleased to know we’re thinking along the lines of others.
We’d tell you exactly how we’re implementing those six elements, but that would spoil the launch of the store, so stay tuned. In the mean time, if you’d like to learn more about our omnichannel or experience singularity solutions, reach out to hello-at-c-iq.com. It is now possible to do omnichannel retailing even for the smallest of shops.