As reported in PSFK's Store Experience Design Debrief, here's how leading retailers are creating phygital store spaces using cutting-edge technology

As the lines between online and offline continue to blur, consumers increasingly expect the in-store shopping experience to be as personalized and dynamic as the digital. Retailers are leveraging responsive in-store technologies, such as interactive shelf displays and AR-powered virtual demos, that supply shoppers with additional information to bring products to life, while also providing valuable data about shoppers’ in-store interactions in order to further refine the brick-and-mortar experience.

The change is effective: 75% of Gen-Zers surveyed prefer shopping in stores with engaging experiences, and 45% say the experience of buying something is as important as the product itself. As detailed in PSFK’s extensive Store Experience Design Debrief, the following three examples demonstrate how retailers are leveraging interactive technology to create dynamic and responsive in-store environments:

GU Style Studio
GU, an apparel brand owned by Fast Retailing (which is also the parent company of Uniqlo), has opened GU Style Studio, a next-generation store in Tokyo’s Harajuku fashion district. It an interactive digital display that allows shoppers to create a personal avatar and experiment with clothing combinations on a virtual mannequin. Shoppers can virtually select items from the store’s assortment, and then model the clothing on the avatar using the camera-embedded display, which takes a picture of the shopper. Using the store’s app, the GU Style Creator, shoppers can link their avatar to their own personal account and continue modeling and coordinating outfits on their avatar even after leaving the store.

Walgreens x Cooler Screens
Pharmacy retailer Walgreens has partnered with IoT startup Cooler Screens to pilot a new line of coolers equipped with camera and face-detection software that can determine shoppers’ gender and age, as well as the weather and what’s in their cart. The technology will help retailers gather demographic information, know what’s selling and plan quicker restocking, and allow brands that partner with Walgreens to serve targeted ads. The cooler does not use facial recognition technology and does not identify shoppers; instead, the camera uses AI to make general inferences about their age and gender.

American Eagle x Aila Technologies
The apparel retailer is leveraging Aila’s technologies to implement interactive fitting rooms. The rooms are equipped with kiosks with iOS smart screens that help shoppers keep track of their carts and recommend products based on what they’ve already scanned. The touchscreen kiosk also allows shoppers to request different sizes or styles, as well as the option to email themselves product information to save for later.

Interactive merchandising is just one way that leading brands are breathing new life into their stores. For more ways that retailers can reimagine brick and mortar in the digital age, download PSFK’s Store Experience Design Debrief, available now.

As the lines between online and offline continue to blur, consumers increasingly expect the in-store shopping experience to be as personalized and dynamic as the digital. Retailers are leveraging responsive in-store technologies, such as interactive shelf displays and AR-powered virtual demos, that supply shoppers with additional information to bring products to life, while also providing valuable data about shoppers’ in-store interactions in order to further refine the brick-and-mortar experience.