Here at CoreMedia we talk a lot about how brands can deliver great online experiences. But part of our bigger vision is enabling retailers to deliver great in-store experiences as well. And this is a very hot topic right now, as retailers rush to provide their customers – particularly millennials – with not just products to purchase but also experiences to savor (and share).
So retailers everywhere are experimenting with transforming their brick and mortar stores into real experiences using digital technology. Whether you call it "immersive retail," "experiential retail," or even "retailtainment" it's definitely a trend that's here to stay.
As part of our ongoing recommended read series we've rounded up the best articles on this topic. First, an analysis from Forbes that gets to the heart of the matter: how brands can use technology to win at customer experience. It's an intriguing piece that makes the case that experiences are not just ancillary to the product, they're actually going to become the product.
Next, the South China Morning Post offers a look at some of the captivating things luxury brands are doing in the name of immersive retail, from Tiffany & Co.'s high-end perfume vending machine in London to Cartier's pop-up gallery to celebrate its Tank collection in Tokyo. Storefront Magazine provides more insights with an article that details seven success studies, including one of our favorite brands Farfetch, the wildly successful luxury eCommerce portal.
Business Insider takes a look at the latest opening of Amazon's game changing cashier-less store, Amazon Go, which just opened its latest outlet in downtown San Francisco. Technology that was eye-opening last year – the "just walk out" concept, which uses cameras, sensors and apps to track purchases – is rapidly becoming commonplace.
Digital Commerce 360 (via Bloomberg) has an in-depth piece about the fashion retailer Zara's new flagship store in London, which is chock-full of virtual reality (VR) technology, including a floor-to-ceiling hologram-enabled mirror. Digiday has a similar article spotlighting the VR and augmented reality (AR) innovations taking place at The Container Store in Dallas, where shoppers can upload photos and videos of the rooms of their home and reorganize them using the store's interactive digital displays.
Always on the cutting edge of marketing, Nike recently unveiled a brand-new concept store in Los Angeles (Nike by Melrose) designed and stocked entirely based on customer interaction data from the surrounding area. Nike's VP of digital products, Michael Martin, says the idea is to "show and flow new products which will be rotated super fast, bi-weekly, into the stores so that customers can keep coming back." Fast Company has all the details.
And finally, the industry website TotalRetail provides a detailed analysis of how a true omnichannel model – nicknamed "brick and tech" – will eventually blend the best of the online and offline worlds: both entertaining and educational, immersive and interactive, as well as curated to help prevent choice overload.