Digital Design Process 1.

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Brief

Digital products used in retail display equipment typical covers things like screens, projectors, analytics cameras and customer engagement technology. As with all design, establishing a strong clear digital brief is critical to success.

Always consider the following:

  1. Agnostic software systems – to ensure that systems can be evolved and upgraded without dependency on specific suppliers.
  1. Digital equipment support – be aware that some products will be offered with a total service offers that may limit the retailer’s options in future. eg: selecting IOS, Windows or Android based equipment will have wider implications on hardware selection, technical support and future flexibility.
  2. Application Protocol Interface (API) – All dc members offering digital solutions must offer an API. Consider developers and integrators who use API between client-side software and server who allow users a ‘hand-shake’ between operating platforms and therefore a greater flexibility to meet the client’s individual needs.
  3. Hardware – Typically marketing specialists use a combination of mediums to build brand engagement (such as media, print and signage) so an integrated fully integrated platform provides greater value then isolated offers.

Typical Hardware types:

  • Screens
  • Audio
  • Analytics cameras and or sensors
  • Shelf edge screens
  • Sensors
  • Lighting

Before selecting the hardware there are several key areas to review:

Security

In order to ensure that all client security protocols are maintained it is important to collaborate closely and integrate fully with the retailer and their IT department.  IT specialists will need remote access to update, make changes and repair systems quickly.

On site monitoring of in-store screens can be a vital front line defence against malfunction  and will require store staff engagement and training.

 

Content

Digital hardware is a delivery mechanism for content and it’s the content that engages the customer, in the way products do within the display. Therefore, when starting a digital design it’s critical to establish what the content will be and how it will engage with the customer.

Key considerations:

  1. What is the purpose of the content? – is to educate customers, promote products, provide important information?
  2. How frequently will the content be changed and who will change it?
  3. Who will schedule the content?
  4. Is the content location dependent or will all content be generic?
  5. Will the content be static or film?
  6. Is the content owned by the retailer or a third party?
  7. Is the hardware and software being used for third party advertising and what SLA’s are in place?
  8. Do third parties need access to the system to deliver content?
  9. Will the content integrate social media?
  10. Is the content developed in isolation or drawing from a website?

 

Delivery

CMS

In order to maximise the efficiency of the different types of hardware it’s necessary to specify an integrated software platform or content management system (CMS). While there are a large variety of CMS’ on the market not all are open to third party integration and consideration should be given to ensure the system is scalable and future proof.

The CMS should be able to be hosted either on the existing corporate infrastructure or remotely by a third party both on sever or cloud based and have an open programming interface (API).

Key considerations:

  1. Will the CMS system be located on-premises or cloud hosted?
  2. What is the bandwidth within the store and when will data be transferred?
  3. Where will the power be coming from it and will that be 24hrs or only on during trading?
  4. Who will be installing and maintaining the system and what accessibility to the network will they require?
  5. How will the CMS be connected to the hardware in store? – will this include 3G or WiFi?

 

Customer Service

Omnichannel – the customers’ brand interaction should be seamless whether in-store, online, on the phone or through direct or indirect marketing.

The use of digital technologies for in-store experience gives designers the opportunity to ensure a particular fixture or the store interior in general is used to reach the widest possible audience and create multiple ways to engage with the brand.

Key considerations:

  1. What percentage of time will the store staff spend serving in-store customers?
  2. Does the store offer a similar and consistent service to offline and online customers?
  3. Can the in-store fixture be used to reduce online basket abandonment?

 

Live video connections via the website.

For online customers, the opportunity to video-connect with sales staff, technicians and professionals in-store is an efficient and convenient option. Customers can have their questions answered, see product details and receive live consultation providing better use of the fixture or store. Additionally if a shopper has the opportunity to complete their transaction during a video connection, this also means that the sales staff has a chance to sell.

Key considerations:

  1. Is the success of the design dependent on sales?
  2. What percentage of time will the store staff spend serving instore customers?
  3. Does the store offer similar service offline as online customers and vice versa?
  4. Can the instore fixture be used to reduce online basket abandonment?

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