Digital signage for retail, at least partially written off with the advent of smartphones and tablet computers, may be back in vogue with a few high tech twists. At last month's NRF convention, I had the chance to take a look at four installations where Intel has partnered with retailers and/or brands to come up with walls and kiosks that engage shoppers, offer them the chance to have a little fun and experience a personalized shopping experience in ways akin to online shopping.
According to an Intel spokesperson, the company is not looking to get into the business of selling these devices. They work with partner brands and retailers who use third parties to build the machines. The company's objective is to help retailers better understand how the physical shopping experience can be enhanced with technology.
Here's a peek at what four of Intel's partners are doing:
Macy's is currently testing a Beauty Spot kiosk in four stores. This is essentially a unit with a very large touchscreen surrounded by product. It offers the self-service oriented shopper the opportunity to choose from a variety of "looks," get customized recommendations and e-mail them to herself or print a list for use in-store. Macy's has a concierge who is stationed at the kiosk with a tablet to provide additional help. Rather than having to shop the entire cosmetics department, the shopper in a hurry or who wants to find everything in one place can get a big head start here.
The HSN TOUCHWALL is a 13 x 8-foot interactive screen that can be used in places like malls, sports arenas and airports. It offers the user a chance to play a game in which they can learn about various products. Purchases would occur later via their smartphone. In this iteration, the wall was set up to promote a pizza making game starring chef Wolfgang Puck and highlighting cookware offered for sale.
Kraft's iSample Experience is a "smart" vending machine that allows customized, interactive product sampling. Basically, this automates the sampling process, allows the brand to collect data, and provides the shopper with a little entertainment. The installation at the show provided samples of Kraft's Temptations, a dessert line for adults. The machine is able to distinguish the gender and age group of each user via an optical scanner and Intel's Audience Impression Metrics (AIM) Suite. In this case, adults are offered a choice of samples while kids get a humorous message.
Adidas' adiVerse is a virtual footwear wall displaying virtual 3D products shoppers can interact with. Anonymous video analytics allow Adidas to understand shopping patterns, trend, and demographics. Shoppers can buy what they see via a tablet-based checkout.
Which of these four installations do you see having the greatest application in retail spaces?