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Digital in-store technologies create added value


E-commerce has changed the way people shop. Although brick-and-mortar stores still account for most of the turnover in retailing, online sales have now reached significant levels in non-food segments like consumer electronics, photo accessories and fashion. Thus shop owners are challenged to make their premises more attractive and give their customers new reasons for shopping in the traditional manner.

At the EHI Retail Design Conference Alex Tosolini from Kroger, one of the biggest American grocery chains, with some 3,000 stores, reports that 70 percent of consumers in the USA go online to learn about products before buying. Customers must therefore be inspired to visit fixed-location stores. Tooling’s advice: “Come up with big ideas and pursue them relentlessly.” And most importantly, “Invest in future trends!”

It is generally agreed that digital technologies help to optimise business processes in stores. Opinions differ on the extent to which digital sales technologies help to promote a retailer’s marketing objectives at the POS. Experts say that digital signature applications make no sense in shops that sell luxury brands. What counts here is competent personal sales advice. In contrast, food retailing is an area in which digital screens have gained an established position. Coop Italia is testing digital screens and video walls in its “Future Store”  in Milan, which covers some 1,000 sqm. Their purpose is to provide information to customers at the POS. More than 100 screens have been installed, from the 40-sqm video wall above the fresh produce section to interactive touchscreens at the shelves.

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