Interactive Kiosks and the Future of Retail: Part Three

Last week we wrote about “omnichannel” marketing, its effect on retail and in what ways interactive kiosks play a part in these types of consumer-focused programs. Today, we’ll look at another aspect of retail -- virtual merchandising -- and how it will affect the way consumers make purchasing decisions in-store.

Ever heard of a virtual mannequin? Touch-on-glass and interactive touch foils? Or virtual kiosks? While even a few years ago, these would have been considered futuristic technologies, all of these examples (and a host of others that are similarly impressive) currently exist at market.

Virtual Mannequins: Interactive Holographs

Let’s start with virtual mannequins. There are a few different types of deployments available, and they are used for a range of different purposes. For instance, Jaeger, a popular London clothing store, tested these holographs in concert with an app that customers could use to find out what the window mannequins were wearing, including shoes and accessories, and even purchase the items online, right from their phone. Virtual Mannequin technology is also used in concert with digital kiosks to deliver promotional and informational messages to audiences ranging from convention-goers to shop-a-holics interested in the latest trends and the most compelling bargains.

Touchscreen Technology Drawing

Mercury13, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Touch-on-Glass: Making Windows into Touchscreens

Next up -- “touch-on-glass.” This is a way to create what’s essentially an interactive touchscreen out of something as simple as a plate glass window or glass partition. It also works with acrylic materials for higher-traffic areas requiring less fragile solutions. These types of makeshift “kiosks” generally require the integration of interactive touch foils in order to achieve the desired levels of interactivity between the window displays/interactive signage and end-users.

Virtual Kiosks: Remote Sales Associates for In-Person Shoppers

Finally, we come to virtual kiosks. This term is a bit of a misnomer -- the kiosks themselves aren’t actually virtual. The component that’s virtualized is actually the human aspect; virtual kiosks allow customers to interact with virtual sales associates directly from the sales floor. This means that stores are able to supply customers with on-demand product assistance and suggestions, as well as complete POS transactions, all from the same kiosk. Banks also use a similar type of process to assist customers in lieu of traditional, in-house tellers.

If you find these quickly evolving technologies as fascinating as we do, come back next week for our final installment covering the future of interactive kiosks in retail. Already convinced that digital kiosk integration is right for your business? REDYREF's experienced professionals are here to help. With a wide range of manufacturing solutions available in-house, we offer a one-stop solution for kiosks from design to deployment, making it easy for companies of all sizes to take advantage of the latest advances in retail technologies. Give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.

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