The retail experience stores (think Apple or Microsoft retail outlet) are increasing in popularity.
In these stores, a combination of screens, tablets, laptops, and phones are deployed to engage the consumer. If you are a reputable vendor, you may be asked to participate in a project like this in the near future. There are a few main considerations you need to take into account when getting involved in a retail experience deployment.
Every detail from content creation to bracket selection needs to take into account the users’ experience while in the store. The user experience needs to support the overall mission of the store and the specific desired actions taken by customers within the store. Is it upsell/cross sell, new product introduction, customer education? What are the different areas within the store that a customer will visit? What action do you want the customer to take in each area? Once you know that, you can design the user experience that meets the customers’ needs. Define the user experience first and select the devices second.
Select devices that support the user experience you have developed and agreed upon. Is it a small shelf-edge unit or a large-format screen? Next, you want to spec the project for the long term, not get caught up in how cool or extravagant you can make one store. When choosing devices you need to understand their availability, how many you’ll need, and what the budget will be for the lifetime of the project.
Okay, so maybe the idea is great, but how are you really going to make it all happen? Based on the discovery that’s been done upfront, you can begin selecting the displays, devices, and other hardware that you’ll need. Test your devices thoroughly. Put them through a serious quality assurance and testing process. Make sure you know how they’ll work when installed and that the devices you picked will suit your needs for the project. Keeping the content updated on the device is another challenge you tackle in testing. How will you send fresh content to the devices? How will you load the user experience on the device? How will you secure the devices and limit their native capabilities? Determine your processes and test how devices will be populated with content, locked down, and remotely managed prior to deployment to the store.
It takes many talented teams to pull off the concept, development and deployment of a retail experience store. Whether you are tasked with hardware certification, the networking of the devices, or content creation and management, it’s useful to be familiar with a checklist of the essentials needed for a successful retail experience store project.