Several Canadian retailers have enhanced their flagship stores in Toronto with digital marketing programs that include touch screen kiosks, or "Sales Assist Stations," from ADFLOW Networks.
Flagship stores help a retailer stand out from the competition and offer it an opportunity to show its products in an idealized light, according to ADFLOW. The idea is to capture the interest of passing consumers and make the flagship a destination for those traveling downtown for shopping.
The two digital marketing projects include video walls, monitors and interactive kiosks, to create a "store within a store" (SwaS). The overall goal is to increase sales through greater consumer traffic, product awareness and a heightened shopping experience.
One flagship was created with the retailer TELUS Mobility, a Canadian telecom firm with 6.7 million wireless subscribers. TELUS wanted to grab consumers with a display of its phones and calling plans.
One eye-catching aspect is the Brand Forest, featuring a number of monitors placed at a variety of heights with animals appearing to jump across the screens. The forest can be seen in-store and from the street.
Once in the flagship, a consumer can pick up a phone at a kiosk and listen to TELUS product information while viewing an interactive touch screen displaying the product. The consumer can use the screen to find further information, compare other products, and check out any promotional offers.
Burlington, Ontario-based ADFLOW claims that 85 percent of the SwaS sales transactions occur after the customer has interacted with the kiosk. This interaction also speeds the sale, with the time between the consumer actually using the touch screen and making the buy cut by 50 percent compared with a purchase made without the kiosk.
Retailers have been experimenting with SwaS operations in recent years as they seek to offer consumers greater choice and build sales.
Retailers considering partnering with a third-party firm for a store within a store need to carefully choose the right firm and keep the brands separate, according to Debra Neville of J.D. Associates, a Leominster, Mass.-based provider of retail management and point-of-sale hardware and software.
First, a partner should give the host store credibility as a respected brand, writes Neville. Further, the partner’s merchandise should not be duplicative, though the two brands should attract similar customers. In short, you aren’t there to compete but to complement.
In addition, be sure to reinforce your own brand while marketing the SwaS concept as something that offers more variety and makes the shopping experience more enjoyable and convenient, Neville writes.
ADFLOW’s flagship store projects have been built around a single retailer creating its own SwaS space.
Another of its flagship display efforts was done with LG Electronics, a consumer electronics and telecom firm. LG’s Showcase Zone, is in the Air Canada Centre, a venue for sports, concerts and other large events. The Zone is open only during events, so the competition for consumer attention is intense.
LG’s Zone includes a video wall with large LCD screens that display content in one large configuration or as a group of images. A second video wall faces a walkway and shows images of LG’s many products.
In addtion, earlier this year ADFLOW created an interactive digital signage system for the retail stores of Canadian wireless telecom firm WIND Mobile.
For retailers, SwaS could prove to be more than another acronym, driving sales and customer loyalty. One key aspect is using the kiosk as an interactive device.