What is Digitail?
Digitail concerns all digital tools and applications at the point of the sale (in retail). For the purpose of this infographic, we have limited the scope to customer-facing tools and apps, designed to enrich and enliven the retail experience and, along the process, help build the business.
The state of digitail
There are very few stores around the world that have properly embedded the digital - much less omnichannel - experience into the retail space. On the technology front, there have been some great innovations. Myriad applications, platforms and technologies have sprouted. Yet, in North America, according to an L2 study, only 6% of the 71 specialty retailers they surveyed in NYC and Chicago had even a baseline digital presence.
Retailers need, first, to establish what are their objectives, figure out the best options, technologies and then execute properly. Too many of the initial efforts are weak or buggy - so it is vital to start small, experiment and learn.
There are four main approaches to using digital in retail:
- Terminal: Rudimentary at best, featuring, for example, digital screens with some dynamic information. However, the screens are no more than dynamic one-way communication.
- Interactive: The digital components invite the visitor to participate and involves him/her. Interactivity can be more or less complex and can involve games and incite curiosity.
- Integrated: Digital is now seamlessly integrated into the store. The online presence has been integrated into the offline. Machine is integrated with human. The sales personnel in the store are at ease with the digital tools. The combination of trained staff and digital tools is bigger than the sum of the parts.
- Everywhere: On a continuum between URL and IRL, the brick and click are becoming less separable. For example, the eCommerce site may reside within the physical store. Thanks to the technology, the store can exist everywhere, in the form of pop ups or on ad hoc digital screens. There is no longer a clear distinction between the virtual and the real.