Chain Store Age - Startups Spotlight: Physical Stores Focus on All Things Digital

Startups Spotlight: Physical Stores Focus on All Things Digital

OCTOBER 19, 2016 | BY ANNE MARIE STEPHEN

As brick-and-mortar stores race to transform themselves amid the increasing importance and influence of e-commerce, many retailers are looking to in-store digital media displays to attract and engage potential customers.

What’s more, new startups are bringing down the high cost of traffic-counting technology; making mobile marketing offers as painless as possible; and looking to virtual reality to create experiences that wow, immerse and educate consumers. Take a look at these: 

Dôr

If you’ve been thinking about traffic-counting systems but are turned off by the high cost and requirements, consider Dôr, designed to be affordable, intuitive and simple to install. Powered by batteries, Dôr skips out on wires altogether, which means retailers have more options in terms of where to place the peel-and-stick lightweight traffic-counting devices. 

Dôr gives retailers critical insights into their business performance. Via the Dôr mobile app or website, users can access footfall data to identify trends in traffic, optimize their marketing budget and understand how weather affects shopper visits. Data from Dôr also can help retailers right-size their staffing and scheduling, ensuring that there are enough workers available for the slowest and busiest periods. 

Dôr all but eliminates the barrier to entry for retailers considering the benefits of traffic-counting solutions. The startup costs are less than $200, a far cry from the more than $2,500 that businesses must shell out for traditional people counters. In our data-driven world, even the smallest shops and boutiques can begin to make better business decisions with virtually real-time information and insights from the Dôr platform. 

Glass Media

Digital signage is all the rage in retail, but Glass Media rethinks the concept by opting for projection-based content so that businesses can sidestep costly and unwieldy television displays. The company’s dynamic eye-catching content improves retail storefronts and attracts and engages passersby, giving casual browsers a reason to enter your establishment. Glass Media’s end-to-end platform brings the best of the digital world into brick-and-mortar. Its “point-of-presence” platform offers numerous benefits; in storefronts, the content is displayed on digitized glass that maintains visibility in bright, direct sunlight. Within the store, content shows up on suspended eye-catching acrylic displays and for eateries, Glass Media menu boards are non-intrusive and feature a thin bezel-less display. To date, Glass Media has created marketing installations for brands including 7-Eleven and Lexus. 

Reflect Systems

Designing digital signage and interactive displays, Reflect Systems aims to help brands engage customers, improve experiences and foster loyalty. It provides a full-service toolkit for clients to create the content they need, whether that’s a digital wayfinding application, assisted shopping features, mobile messaging platforms and more. There’s clear evidence that digital displays create lasting impressions in store. In the company’s survey, 79% of participants remembered digital media they’d seen, 70% recalled the digital content without any prompting and 89% said incorporating digital displays engaged, entertained and improved the overall store experience. Even better, shops using digital media displays saw basket size increase by as much as 3 percent and conversion jump by 55%. 

xClaim Mobile

xClaim plays in the location-based marketing space, enabling brands and retailers to provide compelling offers to consumers without requiring an app download. xClaim’s software platform works by automatically detecting the type of device the consumer is using (it’s compatible with Android, Apple and Windows smartphones), as well as the user’s location and wallet type: Android Pay, Apple Pay or MS Wallet. When the user who has opted in clicks on your ad, she’s prompted to either add and save the offer to her mobile wallet or cancel. Next, the consumer is redirected to the brand or retailer’s website and has the option to immediately complete the purchase or use the offer at a later date. 

xClaim also enables brands and retailers to leverage geolocation technology, including beacons, to push out notifications when the consumers is nearby a relevant location. This means she’s reminded of her saved offer when she’s close to a place where can redeem it and make a purchase. With its “reminder” feature, xClaim clients can nudge users with a friendly alert that a saved offer is expiring soon, keeping the offer top of mind and increasing the likelihood of redemption. Redeeming an offer is simple; xClaim includes options for users to dial up a call center if necessary, click to connect to a brand’s website and buy online, or pull up a map for directions on how to locate a brick-and-mortar store. If an offer expires, the xClaim platform automatically prompts users to consider current, related offers, keeping your brand front and center in the consumer’s consciousness. 

Groove Jones VR

Groove Jones helps brands create fun, immersive and engaging virtual reality (VR) experiences. At SXSW this year, the Dallas-based company’s partnership with McDonald’s was named the Top VR Activation of the annual conference and festivals. Attendees who participated in the burger chain’s V-Artist experience donned a VR headset and used a number of virtual painting tools, such as a paintbrush, color etcher and paintball gun, that allow users to create their art in 3D space. When the participant’s experience is completed, he can share photos of his artistic endeavors with his friends on social media, thanks to Groove Jones’ integrated Groove Tech platform.

The company has worked with a number of leading brands, including Swiss chocolate maker Cailler, owned by Nestle, with the purpose of educating its new American audience about how the treats are made. Visitors to Cailler’s United States pop-up shops in airports and shopping centers can don a Samsung Gear VR headset to learn about the ingredients that create the premium chocolates and take a virtual tour of the Maison Cailler factory in Switzerland. 

Groove Jones VR fits nearly into the clear trend of providing interesting experiences that differentiate your brand (ie, creating artwork that cements your memory of an event experience) and better communicating the brand story (i.e. why you should pay top dollar for luxury chocolates). 

Anne Marie Stephen is the CEO and founder of KWOLIA annemarie@kwolia.com (@AnneMarie_ams).

Anne Marie StephenComment