Bridging the Digital Divide In-Store

by / Thursday, 29 September 2016 / Published in Blog, Experience Design, In Store, Latest posts
Does this sound familiar? You’re browsing in a store, find something you like but then can’t find it in your size/color/etc. What do you do? Look for a sales associate? Chances are that you don’t. Instead you pull out your smartphone to see if the brand has its ecommerce and in-store inventory connected in a meaningful way so you can self-serve—either finding the product in-store or ordering it online—without the assistance of a sales associate.

Turns out you’re not alone.

According to “Navigating the New Digital Divide,” a report by Deloitte, “nearly 50 percent of consumers who received sales associate assistance on their last store trip would prefer to have been able to perform the same action themselves on their own device.”

For many retailers, that answer is right on target. For the women’s fashion brand New York & Co, for instance, Fluid developed an in-store kiosk that looks and functions like an oversized iPad, making it easy for customers to find any item in stock in any of the retailer’s stores and make the purchase there on the kiosk, without ever speaking to a sales associate.

 

But for some brands, the connection between an associate and a customer is too precious to trust to technology alone. This is where the digital divide between the associate and the customer comes into play. With the customer armed with unlimited information on their smartphone, what value can the sales associate bring to the table?

As Deloitte put it in their report, “When consumers are armed with more information, retailers are more likely to close a sale, no matter where that information came from.”

For Michael Kors, that information belongs with the sales associate as the in-store representatives of the brand’s position as a styling authority. To facilitate shoulder-to-shoulder styling advice between associate and customer, Fluid worked with Michael Kors to develop KorsConcierge, an iPad app that lets associates put together virtual outfits for the customer, making it easy to purchase—or save for later purchase online—without ever taking an item from the shelf.

KorsConcierge also checks off many other must-haves for the brand, as the go-to device for sales training, leaderboard views of associates’ individual goals, corporate communications and clienteling features that support an ongoing conversation between the brand and its customers.

For brands like Michael Kors and New York & Co. Fluid has eliminated the digital divide between the store and its customers. Perhaps we can help your brand too. Contact us today!

As the Director of Strategy at Fluid, Chris Haines is responsible for the strategic combination of data, brand content and user-generated content to create highly immersive digital experiences that increase engagement and conversion.

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