How Brands Like Rent The Runway Are Strengthening Consumer-Retailer Connections With DIY Technology
In an excerpt from PSFK's Enhancing Service-Based Experiences Through Automation report, here are three retailers investing in do-it-yourself technology to let customers gain control and personalization over their shopping experience
In an increasingly digital age, tech-driven customers are trained on the internet, opting to find answers for themselves rather than engaging with store employees. Startups experimenting with physical spaces may not have the funds required, however, to train and equip in-store associates to provide the level of assistance required to compete with the efficiency of technology. Similarly, popup stores, a trending choice for both physical and digital-based brands, tend to lack the space and environment conducive to real-life employee assistance. For these reasons and more, retailers are investing in the DIY alternative.
Rather than having employees act as a gateway between brand offerings, automated technologies allow customers to access products and services or receive the information they crave. In the following excerpt from PSFK's Enhancing Service Based-Experiences Through Automation report, here are three retailers employing assistive automated technologies to give customers more control over their shopping experience:
Supermarket chain Hannaford is testing out new features in its Portland store, to make in-store shopping an interactive experience for shoppers. The store technologies include touchscreen stations where customers can search for information, and shelves with sensors that know which items a customer has picked up so that relevant product information can be displayed on nearby screens.
Footwear retailer Eobuwie's concept store in Poland uses large vertical display screens that cycle through shoe imagery to showcase the brands’ range of products. Using the touch screens mounted in the lounge-like space, customers can scroll through Eobuwie’s collection of 450 brands and 40,000+ styles and select pairs of shoes they'd like to try on or purchase directly from the displays. To retrieve the pairs of shoes, customers can walk to the stock and distribution area in the back of the store, where orders get sorted and delivered to specific racks that customers are assigned for their individual order.
Rent The Runway
Designer dress rental service Rent The Runway’s Aila interactive kiosks feature TrueScan technology that allows customers to pick up and drop off orders, as well as exchange clothing on the spot by scanning the labels on Rent the Runway products. Aila's iOS-based kiosks and devices rely on proprietary technology that combines integrated scanning that can be used in a wide range of in-store operations, from price checking and custom ordering to point-of-sale transactions.
In terms of employing tech-based services and assistive tools to increase the standard of customer service, these retailers are in good company. For the full list, download PSFK's report, Enhancing Service-Based Experiences Through Automation.