OPINION: How electronic retailers can benefit from interactive tech

Matt Gordon, COO Limited Space Media Group, shares his views
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Matt Gordon, COO Limited Space Media Group, shares his views

Matt Gordon, COO Limited Space Media Group, shares his views on how home media and tech brands are the 'perfect match'.

Electronics and technology products are always being updated and developed. You only have to look at the number of new technology launches this year to get a handle on just how rapid it is. For example both Tesco and Argos have released cut-price tablets, tapping into a consumer need for this type of product but at an affordable price. Furthermore, tablets make up 14.6 percent of global technology sales; not an insignificant figure.

This appetite for technology could have positive implications for the ailing retail sector. This year has again been tough for retail as consumers increasingly have less and less money to spend. This has also meant that the general shopping experience has suffered, as retail spaces have smaller funds to invest. However, many consumers look to the retail experience as genuinely important and it can go a long way to making shoppers want to part with their cash. So how can the retail environment be made more enticing?

One answer is to take cues from the technologies and electronics themselves. By nature, electronics are built for interaction. Customers looking to purchase technology will often request to try it out in store before committing to a purchase. Many retailers have already factored this into their store plans; I’m thinking primarily of Apple where the layout is focused around displaying their products so that customers can play with them. This interactive capability is the key is to rejuvenating the retail environment. However, it is a change that must be driven by brands themselves.

This is something that has long been a core component of Out-of-Home media (OOH) which can be especially effective in influencing purchase decisions when displayed in shopping centres. Recent years have seen OOH become increasingly digital and this can easily carry over into the tech retail environment, where OOH can offer its capabilities to brands wishing to display and advertise their products on digital screens. 

The greater flexibility and ability to plan that comes with this development offers a chance for stronger and more interactive shopper engagement. The Nokia Lumia 800 is a good example of a brand which has implemented digital OOH media to interact with their customers. The Lumia 800 campaign utilised the full interactive potential of digital screen technology, displaying its brand on-screen and creating a moving image that captured shoppers’ attention and encouraged an average dwell time of 10 seconds.

This example demonstrates succinctly just what tech brands can do to leverage space in the retail environment. The scope for tablets and smartphone to be communicated through OOH digital media is huge. Brands have all the tools at their disposal; they just need to be smarter in how they think about them.

Shoppers want to be engaged when they shop, not passive observers. By taking an approach that draws on the increasing popularity of interactive technology, brands can enrich the shopping experience and, at the same time, achieve higher levels of cut through with shoppers who have been enticed by eye-catching digital campaigns.

About the author

Matt Gordon is Chief Operating Officer of Limited Space Media Group.