Activation Gallery: In-Store Technologies

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Activation Gallery: In-Store Technologies

By Rise and Field Agent - 05/01/2019

Retailers, often with the help of brand partners, are increasing the use of technology to enhance the store experience. To see what’s currently out there and determine the impact these technologies are having, Rise partnered with Fayetteville, Arkansas-based Field Agent. In March, the retail intelligence firm sent its agents to a variety of stores to gather information (and take photos). Here’s what they found and their ratings.

Google Home Hub at Lowe’s

  • Overall experience: 4.0/5
  • Easy to use: 3.8
  • Meets a shopper need: 3.6
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 3.4
  • Would influence my purchase: 3.2

   Agents gave the display a strong overall rating but were more critical about specific criteria. They almost unanimously liked the display’s clean, crisp look and interactive features. But they were split on its ability to adequately showcase the product’s capabilities. The display was “too loud and didn’t show enough options to explore,” said one.

Dollar Shave Club

  • Overall experience: 5/5
  • Easy to use: 5
  • Meets a shopper need: 4.7
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 5
  • Would influence my purchase: 4.3

   Agents said the vending machine, which they experienced in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, was visually appealing and easy to use, and it made the checkout process smooth and efficient. A “major problem” experienced from more than one agent was out-of-stocks. “That was disappointing.”

BevMo Voice Assistant

  • Overall experience: 4.4/5
  • Easy to use: 4.4
  • Meets a shopper need: 4.2
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 4.6
  • Would influence my purchase: 3.8

   Agents generally enjoyed the interactive experience, although more than one thought the volume of the digital assistant was too loud, drawing undesired attention to the shopper. Another was “impressed by the vast wealth of information the assistant was programmed to provide.” One considerate agent was happy he didn’t have to bother a store employee for information.

Target Beauty Kiosk

  • Overall experience: 4.2/5
  • Easy to use: 4.8
  • Meets a shopper need: 3.8
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 4.0
  • Would influence my purchase: 3.6

   Easy. Fun. Fast. High quality. Those were some of the mostly positive descriptors agents provided after using the kiosk. One negative: “The only action item was email. It didn’t tell me where the product was located in-store. It also didn’t provide much detail around the product – like a description, price or reviews.”

Touchscreen Display at Hannaford

  • Overall experience: 4.2/5
  • Easy to use: 4.4
  • Meets a shopper need: 4.4
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 3.8
  • Would influence my purchase: 3.2

   Agents said they would like to see more of these displays. Among the comments: “It’s an extremely interesting way of educating consumers,” with “sensors that can give you more information on the product you pick up.” One said there was a glitch at first where the display didn’t acknowledge that he picked up the product. Another added that “the screen instructions were confusing.”

Sam’s Club Tablet

  • Overall experience: 4.4/5
  • Easy to use: 3.8
  • Meets a shopper need: 3.8
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 4.2
  • Would influence my purchase: 3.4

   Agents said this was a great experience for children: “It would truly keep both the 12-year-old and the 3-year-old interested.” Another wanted more from the tablet: “They need to have all the products interactive … with entertainment in between ... and discounted offers and everything you want to know about the product. And online ordering with one touch.”

Walgreens Digital Cooler Doors

  • Overall experience: 4.2/5
  • Easy to use: 4.6
  • Meets a shopper need: 4.4
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 4.2
  • Would influence my purchase: 3.6

   Agents were impressed by the attention-grabbing power of these doors. One liked that if a product was out of stock, its corresponding image on the screen was not as bright. The displays are capable of showing relevant advertising based on the gender and age of those who approach, as well as weather conditions, although one agent said there was no evidence of that working.

Virtual Artist at Sephora

  • Overall experience: 4/5
  • Easy to use: 4.0
  • Meets a shopper need: 4.0
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 4.0
  • Would influence my purchase: 4.0

   Generally, agents thought the kiosk was fun and easy to use. “It was very easy to try on a wide variety of different looks. It also has tutorials and a photo booth.” One thought the experience was a little confusing at first, considering all the different options. Another didn’t think the looks, when applied, were accurate. “It feels like a Snapchat filter.”

Digital Shelves at Kroger

  • Overall experience: 3.8/5
  • Easy to use: 4.6
  • Meets a shopper need: 4.4
  • Makes me want to shop this store: 4.0
  • Would influence my purchase: 3.6

   This technology is a positive addition, agents agreed. One said Redmond, Washington, “is a tech town, and I would expect this of the local grocery store.” More than one noticed a malfunction – with the displays “glitching out with vertical lines.” Agents liked the promotion of coupons available through the Kroger app, although “it would help if they corresponded with the products on the display.”

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As a supplement to our coverage, Field Agent compiled a video of shoppers interacting with some of these retail technologies. (View the video on Field Agent's website.)