Skip to content

Why Techorating Will Dominate Retail In 2015

By Sarah Tanksalvala


google plus linkedin pinterest

Choose your SNS for scraping this page.

Close Window
It’s a common scene in futuristic movies: digital signage and holograms recognize a passerby and project vibrant, life-like ads custom tailored to that person’s preferences. These ads are visually appealing, informative and highly personalized. And as the techorating trend gains steam, this science fiction scene is coming closer and closer to reality.

Techorating is the fusion of “technology” and “decorating.” So far, it’s been used most notably in home environments to create attractive but functional spaces. Putting a screen on a refrigerator, or concealing a television in a piece of furniture allows homeowners to create functional spaces without sacrificing visual appeal or creating clutter. Now, the retail sector is picking up on this idea.

In a 2014 study by Dalziel and Pow, 41 percent of respondents said they valued the ambiance of a retail store. In fact, it was a higher priority than location, friendliness of staff and customer service. Only three considerations scored higher: the range, value and quality of products. By definition, techorating creates a unique ambiance and it’s becoming more crucial to the retail experience.
Why Techorating Will Dominate Retail In 2015
“In human DNA, we are engineered to react to motion,” says Kevin Goldsmith, communication director at Ping HD, a company that provides digital strategies for industries ranging from sports and entertainment to retail and health care. “So to move from a static printed poster to something digital with movement is going to capture people’s attention.”

The value goes beyond aesthetics, though. Digital signage is rapidly updatable and even customizable, creating new and unique marketing opportunities.

One simple example of the information-based side of things is digital signage with updated lottery jackpot numbers. That’s already raised the number of lottery tickets purchased by 10 to 12 percent, Goldsmith says. Video feeds demonstrating how certain projects are used are another possible use of digital screens, and can help consumers decide to buy a product they’ve never seen or experienced before.

“The goal is to have people stop and take a second look at the products” says William Sam, a technical strategy manager with Samsung.

Roger Beutel, manager at ATEN Technologies – a New Jersey based firm which designs networking systems for techorators – says it’s about communication of both concepts and feelings. Techorating can give buyers valuable information about products and how to use them. This information could be given through a video feed which resembles a YouTube tutorial placed right beside the product, or perhaps through a touch screen set of instructions placed similarly.

It also can create an ambiance which helps buyers connect products to their own memories or desires, for instance by placing a screen playing a video of a family sitting by a fireplace at Christmas in a furniture store. Many stores already put Christmas trees in their holiday sections – this would just expand the possibilities to include videos of people with whom a buyer might identify.

“Whether it’s simple facts and figures, a movie, flash, just simply a story – everything is media rich,” he says.
Advertising in action
Goldsmith has seen firsthand how implementing technology can boost interest – and sales. He helped create a techorating project for a store selling electronic gadgets targeted at people buying Christmas gifts for men. Digital signage played a video of people using electronic gadgets – like a radio controlled spider – which they had likely never seen before. The retailer tracked a 500 percent increase in sales in locations where the video was played.

“You’ve taken something that’s intangible when it’s in its box and turned it into something you actually see people using and having fun with,” says Goldsmith. “So you can relate to it and (know) if it’s going to be a good gift for whoever you’re thinking about buying it for.”

When a product is new or deals with something complicated – like, perhaps home repair – this type of signage could provide valuable, onsite content marketing. Whole Foods recently announced a program to use digital signage to help shoppers discover food, beer and wine which matches their tastes, but they may never have tried before. They’re not just offering food; they’re actively helping shoppers expand their palates and choose food or wine for parties as part of the shopping experience.

Techorating can also be used to create customized promotions. A discreet webcam and audience measurement technology combined can help retailers target specific demographics with their signage. For instance, certain technology can identify a specific gender or age range of customers with a high degree of accuracy. After identifying the demographic, digital signage can play a video or display an ad targeted at that market. This might mean highlighting a different product or special offer, or perhaps highlighting a different use of a product.

“It’s a pretty exciting time in an industry that a lot of people still think is new, but if you think about it digital signage has been around for many years in one form or another,” says Goldsmith. “But it’s gotten more technically advanced, and easier to manage content.”

While content creation is becoming easier, the price of audiovisual systems is dropping. Digital signage is becoming affordable, even for mom and pop shops that must carefully choose investments in their business. Beutel says the combination of forces means soon shoppers will be surprised by the lack of techorating in any retail environment, big or small.

“When you have a customized techorating or digital signage application, it draws customers into the experience of your store,” says Beutel. “And if you can capture their attention and that this is a product that matches their needs, it’s only going to generate sales.”

Sarah Tanksalvala is a Colorado-based freelance writer specializing in technology, marketing, energy and lifestyle topics.

Source : Forbes Samsung BusinessVoice

related insights

Case Study
Weblib and Samsung deliver new digitised services and entertainment solution for QSR
Weblib integrates Samsung KNOX Customisation into quick-service restaurant solution, creates new ways to attract customers and build brand loyalty
Case Study
LAVA and Samsung help boost in-store sales improve retail customer experience
Samsung KNOX Customisation supports rollout of mini-kiosks for major North American retailer
White Paper
Android security maximised by Samsung KNOX
Safeguard enterprise mobility with tightly integrated security, compliance, and control features.
Flyer: Samsung My KNOX
A brief overview of Samsung My KNOX, its key benefits, and how to get started using it.