While the check-out experience both on and offline should be fast and seamless, retailers are looking at technology to enhance the shopping journey and keep customers engaged for longer.  

A panel of retailers at the Demandware Xchange conference in Miami this week said they were looking specifically at in-store technologies to keep the customer shopping for longer and, in turn, increasing their basket size. 

Jennifer McMClain, SVP eCommerce and marketing at The Limited, said the retailer understood the power of editorial content for keeping a customer engaged online and wanted to replicate this experience in store. 

McClain said The Limited decided to architect the navigation of the stores and chose to invest in interactive digital signage, as well as iPads to improve the in-store customer journey. “We wanted to make shopping fun again,” she said. 

The iPad attached to the outfit bar in the retailer’s stores allows customers to find out more information from The Limited’s website. 

“eCommerce is our largest store,” she explained, noting that 35% of the retailer’s products are exclusive to online, meaning store associates are encouraged to use the iPads to push products not available in the store. 

The Limited – which has 260 stores in the US, selling casual and sportswear to professionals – has also introduced digital signage which integrates with Pinterest in order to educate the customer on the retailer’s brand values. 

“Our girl wants to know how she can dress from day to night, so our versatility videos show you how,” she added. 

Meanwhile, John Hazen, SVP direct to consumer at True Religion – a premium denim retailer with 160 stores, mostly in North America, with 10-15 situated in Europe – said he is also implementing technology to improve the in-store customer journey.

“We’re a big believer that we need to slow the customer down, the longer they linger in a store, they more likely they are to purchase something,” he said. 

True Religion is about to launch a consumer facing application next week with Demandware. Shoppers who download the new app and visit True Religion's LA and New York Stores in the US will trigger beacon technology to alert store associates of their arrival. 

Store associates will receive information on the customer and their purchase history via an Apple Watch app which has been designed for store staff. The Apple Watch application will also give the entire True Religion catalogue of products and store associates will be able to select a pair of jeans and “cast” the product onto digital signage in the store, as a virtual mannequin to show customers. 

“And being a higher-end retail business, the purchase journey is an act of passion and impulse – we don’t try to improve efficiency because we’re not a grocer, so we’re not going to do self-checkout.”

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