Shoppers seek interaction. Many retail marketers immediately assume this means touchscreens, voice technology, virtual augmentation, 3D scanning, mobile apps, beacons, social platforms, motion sensors, personalized ads and whatever else cool we saw in Minority Report. And to some extent, it does.
A retail interaction is simply a shared moment; a connection that enhances the experience of the shopper by informing, entertaining, involving or delighting her. Technology can definitely make those moments happen. But so can classic signage and display.
It is a mistake to immediately equate in-store interaction with technology. It’s not about the delivery system; it’s about the experience that’s delivered, and the tone it needs to take.
Authenticity matters here. A block-long video screen will not work for everybody. Some brands call for warm, lovingly crafted visual in-store communications, among them Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Dylan’s Candy Bar. And certain products or lines – those that might be best described as artisanal, limited edition, hand sewn, custom built, artist rendered or old school – must reflect an attitude that is lower tech and higher touch.
As a reminder of the power of interaction unplugged, here is a list of 22 ways classic signage and display can engage the shopper.
- Examine a cutaway to see how it’s made
- Sample a scent
- Touch the fabric
- Discover your size
- Look into a mirror
- Be challenged by a question
- Find a favorite
- Feel the heft
- See every side to the story with three-dimensional signage
- Try an implement
- Get a closer look at the weave
- Try a bite
- See how the color looks against your complexion
- Drop the marble and make the Rube Goldberg contraption go
- Build a signature scent
- Collect printed product information
- Watch a chef teach knife skills
- Check a color under just the right light
- Compare the softness of two cashmeres
- Learn how your watch works
- Get a double message with an accordion-folded sign
- Pluck a garden tool from a fantasy garden (you can truly make anything out of corrugated)