Orckestra recently launched our Interactive Shopping Experience with the live ShoeWall at Sports Experts, a leading sporting goods and clothing store across Canada. Although we’ve had a lot of press and quite a bit of buzz surrounding this, I thought it would be good to explain a little bit about the philosophy behind this experience and how it works.
The conveniences of online shopping now available in-store
Today’s consumers have a wealth of knowledge at their disposal to help them make informed and correct buying choices. This ability to research anything, anytime, anywhere has changed many aspects of the buyer’s journey, including the sense of autonomy that consumers have developed, and now expect. Sales associates are no longer king when it comes to providing every important detail of every product in store. Who hasn’t got that blank stare from an associate in a DIY store when you ask a question, only to be told “I work in plumbing, not electricity” or “Gee, that’s a new product. I’m not really sure how it works”. In a sporting goods store when I’m looking for a pair of shoes, I know I don’t want to have to wait to find someone who can run to the back of the store, only to return a few minutes later with “Sorry, I don’t have that shoe in your size”.
The Interactive Shopping Experience we’ve built addresses these issues, but that’s really just scratching the surface of what we’re trying to achieve. By providing a live portal for consumers to directly interact with, we’re enabling the physical arm of the Omni-channel vision that bridges the gap between online and in-store.
How the interactive ShoeWall works
In the case of Sports Experts, we’ve leveraged RFID technology to enable a more immersive user experience. 10 touch-screen monitors spaced over a large wall are synchronized to run an information/banding video in a loop, and each is accompanied by an RFID scanner. As customers browse the selection of shoes on display, they’re encouraged to place any of them on one of the scanners. That monitor will switch to a product view providing detailed product specs as well as availability (size, color, variants etc.). Following a brief delay, that monitor will revert back and synchronize its video display with the others.
Unified experiences and centralized management
Managing the visual experience is greatly simplified by using the same platform to manage the online website and the product pages displayed in-store on the touch screens. Contributors have access to and can manage all touchpoints from a single application, and all assets required can be shared across all touchpoints. However, the real power lies in Orckestra’s cloud based solution.
As everything that happens in-store and online is running off a single and same version of Orckestra Commerce, this provides retailers with a global view of what drives their customers and how they interact. For example, not only can retailers know which pages customers are looking at online and which products are being sold online, they can also know which products people are looking at in-store and which are being sold in-store, and can cross-reference and analyze this data by touchpoint.
This solution is just one example of how retailers can leverage our Interactive Shopping Experience. Considering that our platform runs in the cloud and that it’s the same data that’s powering what happens online, in-store or on the ShoeWall, new experiences such as endless aisle scenarios, self-checkout with pay and go, ship-from-store options and more are easily possible.
I’ll keep you updated as we continue to deliver new compelling in-store experiences to Sports Experts and others.