Category Archives: Customer Experience

The Changing Face of Retail – Five Ways Brands Can Keep Up


For retailers, integrating the latest technology is not a choice, it is a necessity. While technology has presented many challenges for brands, it has also created many opportunities.  From the guardian, here are five ways brands can keep up:

Channel Consistency – A brand’s message can get lost by consumers as they move across touch points; walking into the store, using their smart phone on the bus and then using their PC or tablet at home.  Brands must be structured to ensure consistent delivery.  This requires that brands not only know what their values are, but they also filter them across the organization, so the brand message can be expressed confidently across consumer platforms.

Offer Best-In-Class – With access to so many brands, across so many channels, consumers will quickly disregard anything that doesn’t live up to their expectations.  Brands must create a friction free world for consumer, while adapting internal technologies that will keep up.

Decentralize – Retailers must make consumer’s experience across channels easy and enjoyable, this might require small adjustments outside of high-level brand strategies.  There are so many small interactions outside of a brand’s control that all employees touching customers, from store managers to customer service agents at call centers, need to feel empowered to create the best experience for the consumer.

Co-create – Social media is a two-way conversation that allows consumers to take part in brand activity.   Brands can use this unstructured consumer driven data to drive ad campaign creation or fuel marketing content.  Brands can use social media platforms to show humility and open up to consumers, finding a new path towards brand relevance.

Proximity Mobile Messaging –Brands can use this technology to provide valuable information and offers relevant to consumer’s purchase path.  Consumers will adopt technology that provides information that helps them move seamlessly to their decision point.


Tom Cruise. Robocop. Fight Club. Here’s What They Have In Common.

Minority Report - Robocop - Fight Club

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise is greeted at The Gap by a digital display asking how those tank tops worked out from his last shopping excursion. Robocop’s head mounted display recognized faces and displayed information about the subject in target. Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club flips through Ikea catalogs wondering what kind of dining set defines him as a person, set to a virtual catalogue of his condo.

What do these movies all have in common? Augmented Reality technology. The idea of Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for decades, but not until recently have we seen this futuristic technology being remarkably employed in commerce. AR offers the ability to provide brands content rich, utility based experiences that can entertain, educate, and capture –and even better, retain – customers.

The more time we spend interacting with a brand, the more likely we are to develop a loyalty and affinity for said brand. There’s no room for gimmicks in Augmented Reality anymore – used without content in the proper context, shelf life is low, with a one and done approach. But when used to breathe life into a commerce experience with entertainment, customized suggestions, and interaction opportunities, long lasting, successful AR campaigns bridge the gap between passive and progressive relationships. It’s estimated that in 2014 30% of mobile subscribers will use AR at least once in a week. 864 million smartphones will have AR technology enabled on them.  Revenue is expected to reach $600 billion by 2016. It’s continuing to broaden customer experiences more than ever – so, just how?

Let’s take a look at a recent example of AR being used in retail today and a demo experience PlayNetwork recently created:

Ikea | (Fight Club was on to something!) Turn your home into an Ikea showroom with a scalable view of 90 catalogue products. This clever use of AR brings the Ikea brand right into your home, allowing you to take the time to match up your next furniture purchase perfectly. The Set Up: The Ikea app uses the measurements of the Ikea catalogue in comparison to the surrounding room to scale each furniture item at the appropriate size. Choose from 90 popular pieces to flip, set, and rotate in any space. Think you’ve found the perfect fit? Snap a picture to tide you over until the real deal takes its place.  Ikea showrooms can be overwhelming even for the savviest of shoppers; this AR application solves the problem of finding parking, adds an entertaining element to their shopping process, and allows customers to interact with the brand in a whole new way.

PlayNetwork | Our Product Innovation team created this proof of concept using Father John Misty’s latest album. The Set Up: While browsing the record section at your favorite clothing store, you find you’re able to make the cover artwork “come to life” using your phone; turn the album over to preview the tracks then and there. Continue browsing the rest of the store by double tapping to take the player with you and by the end of track 3, you’ve decided you need this in your collection. Simply tap to add it to your cart and checkout online. This AR experience increases the time customers spend shopping, giving them an interactive excuse to linger as they listen. It also allows the customer to make their purchase decision in-store or after they’ve left.

Interested in using AR to help build your brand? Give us a shout.

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How to Meet Omni-Channel Shopper’s Expectations

ImageImageImageA new study reveals that 63% consumers felt their in-store holiday shopping experience could have been improved.  More than half of those that want improvement said they’d consider using personalized coupons.  In fact, 85% of consumers prefer personalized offers that reflect their past shopping behavior.  Because consumers have the ability to access a plethora of information across so many channels, they expect nothing less than a superior and personalized experience when they arrive at a store.

Shoppers are prepared to take their business where they feel their business is valued – 92% said they would be more likely to return to a store if an in-store discount was given as a follow-up.

What else can brands do to capture the attention of shoppers that are seamlessly maneuvering channels to find exactly what they want?

This Is How Music Affects the Retail Experience For Brands

Brands today are leveraging the power of music to make authentic connections with their customers, but also see the benefits in their bottom line through a richer shopping experience, deeper customer engagement, stronger affinity and returning customers.

Here are 11 more ways that music impacts the shopping experience for brands and customers…