Six ways to increase customer engagement with retail tech

Blog post author
Ida Hanne Pettersson
November 30, 2022

One of the biggest challenges with adding digital experiences to physical spaces is that many customers just walk right by and don’t engage with it. That’s a big hurdle that retailers have to overcome in order to extract maximum ROI from in-store technology. The best systems in the world are no good if nobody uses them. 

There are several reasons why customers ignore the tools that are on offer.  For example: 

  • They’re focused on getting in, finding what they want, and getting out again as quickly as possible, so they walk right by the devices, especially when they’re near the entrance. 
  • They assume that screens are just carousels showing promotional material and ignore them. Most people see over 5000 ads every day, so they’ve become used to just tuning them out. 
  • They don’t know what the devices do so they don’t see any reason to use them. 

Consequently customers are missing out on the experience, and retailers are missing out on the potential revenue and customer loyalty that digitalization can bring. 

In order to address these issues, our customer success team has been working with our clients to develop six strategies that maximize customer engagement. 

1. Educate users in advance 

One of the simplest techniques to increase engagement is to use traditional marketing methodologies to inform users before they come to the store of the new technology and what it can do for them. Social media, emails, promotional content in magazines, and billboards can all play a valuable part. Ensure you tell users how the new in-store technology can improve their shopping journey to incentivize them to try it out. 

2. Optimize size and positioning 

Placing devices at the store entrance is not always ideal. When customers arrive, particularly in inclement weather or at busy times, they’ll usually walk right by them. Consider placing additional devices at other locations within the store so that the customer notices them at an appropriate time during their visit. Devices such as endless aisles or guided selling should be positioned throughout the store so that customers can easily use them while they’re browsing. In addition, larger screens attract significantly more attention and engagement than small tablets. 

3. Actively attract attention 

It’s essential to make it clear to users that these are interactive devices. Displaying promotional material on a device that’s not currently in use makes it look like it’s just digital signage, so customers will ignore it. To overcome this, devices should actively reach out to users. When a customer comes near a device, we use a camera to detect proximity and the on-screen content changes. When they turn to look at the device, the camera recognizes a face, and the content changes again. This immediately intrigues customers, and encourages them to see what’s happening.  

4. Clear call to action 

Idle screens or kiosk stands should make it clear to customers what each device does and why they should use it. Use simple, compelling calls to action such as “check here to see what’s in stock”, “check out our summer looks” or “place an order for delivery here”.   

5. Exciting UI  

Touch screens are very effective, but they don’t attract attention well.  However, adding audio or gesture interfaces increase the likelihood that a customer will notice a device. A device that speaks to them as they pass by will usually cause them to see what’s going on, and if they see other customers speaking to or gesturing at a device, they’ll be intrigued.  

6. Embed mobile integration 

Our final technique is to use QR codes so that customers can download information from the devices to their phones. This keeps them engaged both during their visit and after they leave the store. It helps them feel that they’re getting a personalized experience that enhances their customer journey. 

Generate word of mouth 

These six strategies not only encourage customers to use the devices, but also encourage them to tell friends and family about their experience. This will both increase customer satisfaction and increase the ROI of your in-store technology. 

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