Creating an Interactive In-Store Experience
Creating an Interactive In-Store Experience
UK retail giant Argos, traditionally known for its catalogue-based ordering and in-store warehouse-connected purchasing experience, is now using digital technology to make its customer experience more interactive.
Iconic UK retail brand, Argos, ensures consistent and proactive pricing and creates compelling customer communications opportunities with Scala technology and Pixel Inspiration.
At a Glance
At a Glance
Argos modernizes in-store experience with digital signage.
Signage moves Argos from print to dynamic pricing.
Argos now capitalizes in-store on its outstanding e-commerce success.
Retail industry first: unique signage and stock management integration.
Integration of Social Media.
Project expected roll-out across more Argos stores in the UK.
Goal & Challenge
Goal: Argos wanted to move away from its traditional paper catalogue retail model to a more interactive and dynamic digital system. The retail brand required a digital solution that would be flexible enough to display a variety of messaging and promotional content while allowing product prices to be updated as needed. Customer-facing, the digital display solution needed to be interactive and provide personalized suggestions for shoppers in a manner that was consistent with the brand’s website (one of the busiest ecommerce sites in the UK). Behind the scenes, the solution needed to be quick, automated, reliable and easy for the Argos team to use.
Challenge: The large number and categories of stock items held in each Argos branch meant the retail brand needed a reliable digital signage solution that could deliver content that matched the current in-store conditions at all times. The in-store network needed to be capable of promoting any one of 33,000 products at a moment’s notice without significant manual effort.
The installed digital signage network had to be able to show current pricing and use live, local stock data to determine which product gets promoted. As the product stock in each Argos location is so varied and stock levels can change significantly over the course of a day, the system needed to be automatic and reliable.
Pixel Inspiration utilized the robust hardware and software solutions from Scala to create a dynamic and reliable digital signage installation for seven Argos locations. Using the Scala Content Manager and Scala Player, the digital signage solution means that pricing and product promotions can be changed easily as required with automatic playlists updated as product stock levels change.
Making the most of the existing Argos APIs, the Scala CMS queries those APIs, retrieving the details of products chosen for promotion to ensure promoted products are in stock. Products set for promotion can be easily selected by use of a valid SKU number which then triggers the system to automatically create, distribute and play a relevant promotional message.
The digital deployment also sees tablet-based, in-store product browsers replacing print catalogues. There is also the addition of a 60-second fast-track collection service alongside free in-store Wi-Fi.
The highly scalable digital signage network, features a large number of screens, typically arranged to form several 2×2 videowalls with content directed not only at in-store customers but also at click-and-collect customers and outdoor pedestrian traffic.
Based on their position in the store, customer messaging is targeted at specific videowalls with one screen always dedicated to welcoming customers into the store and introducing the staff on duty. Displays around the perimeter of the ‘customer browsing zone’ typically feature product promotions with different product categories targeted at different zones. This way relevant content is shown to the customer across all stages of their in-store customer journey.
In addition, the payment and collection points are supported by up to 16 more displays, arranged over two video walls. Argos uses these video walls for flexible branding: each till can be branded as a customer collection point or a ‘fast-track collections’ area at the touch of a button. The company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds can be directed to screens, which provides additional content for customers, and each store is linked to the local weather station, which enables Argos to promote weather-related products on-screen as appropriate.
To create additional sales and promotional opportunities, Argos can execute a store-wide content takeover. During these in-store events, a single brand advert or promotional message runs simultaneously across all in-store screens for maximum impact.
The digital signage solution enables Argos to drive digital point of sale systems, to manage customer communications and deliver a comprehensive brand experience to customers.
Creating a digital-led store space consistent with the brand’s online channels, the Pixel Inspiration solution, powered by Scala, allows the retailer to more efficiently manage its marketing and logistical business processes while also providing customers with a more interactive experience.
The digital-led shopper experience not only means that more relevant promotional messages and product information are shown to customers but that the process of using an Argos store becomes more convenient for shoppers with the ordering and fulfillment process more streamlined and efficient regardless of where the customer has started their interaction with the Argos brand — online, in-store or via the Argos app.
The installation won both a Digital Signage Award and an AV Award.
The Scala technology employed by Argos can be used by retail brands of all types. By querying stock levels as well as utilizing external factors such as the weather, marketing messages shown in store are as relevant as possible with the greatest influence on product selection and sales. The Scala system can be expanded to integrate inputs from more sources such as news sources or social media to create up-to-the-minute promotion opportunities and more personalized recommendations.
The Scala system also ensures that the retail brand can deliver automatic and consistent pricing across all brand touchpoints whether it be the brand website or in-store and synchronize price changes as required. When integrated with shelf-edge signage, individual price changes can be updated and amended with minimum waste. Shelf-edge signage can also be integrated to create store-wide promotion takeovers or single item promotion as required. These store-wide promotions could provide another revenue stream for the retailer as they partner with manufacturing or licensors on promotional campaigns.
About Argos and Pixel Inspiration
Argos is a leading UK digital retailer, offering around 43,000 products through www.argos.co.uk, its growing mobile channels, stores and over the telephone. Argos continues to be the UK’s largest high street retailer online with 738 million website and app visits in the 12 months to February 2014. Argos serves around 123 million customers a year through its network of 734 stores. In the financial year to February 2014, Argos sales were £4.1 billion and it employed some 29,000 people across the business.Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer. Pixel Inspiration are a leading Scala integrator who work with some of the world’s major brands to deliver fully managed, dynamic and integrated, digital signage for corporate and customer communication.