Ensuring your customers experience a consistent and frictionless journey requires an omnichannel experience that connects them both online and in-store. Bridging that gap between the digital and physical world is no longer a trend, but a key and necessary strategy in this new era of technology.
So, which retailers have mastered the perfect plan, and what can we learn from them? Bryn Rees, Director of Digital Content Strategy at IKEA, spoke to GDS Group’s, Sarah Tijou, sharing his four favorites paving the way…
Number One: IKEA
For IKEA, the latest in digital transformation is all about home design driven by artificial intelligence (minus the swedish meatballs). Earlier this year, the company launched IKEA Kreativ, a design experience meant to bridge the ecommerce and in-store customer journeys. It’s powered by the latest AI developments in spatial computing, machine learning and 3D mixed reality technologies.
Available in-app and online, the core technology was developed by Geomagical Labs. According to Bryn, it’s the home retail industry’s first fully featured mixed-reality, self-service design experience, for life-like and accurate design of real spaces. It’s also deeply integrated in the digital shopping journey.
“The possibilities I think, are really endless”
-Bryn Rees, IKEA
“I work with my emerging tech team and they’re really trying to accelerate ways of how we can expand this. To be able to actually have an experience with a brand from your own home is going to be a real game changer. The key will be working out what really resonates with people, what they respond to, and what they want,” Bryn shares.
Number Two: Burger King
A while back, Burger King ran a successful bus stop campaign. People could hold their phones up to burger advert posters and see a trail of steam (from the burgers, of course) leading them to the nearest restaurant. Bryn shares, “you could follow the trail through the town, get to the store and get your food!” He adds, “the whole divide between physical brick-and-mortar and digital experience is going to get closer and closer and closer.”
“Things are changing. The industry is changing.”
Number Three: Lego
Bryn says he discovered a great omnichannel strategy by Lego as he passed the store on the street. Outside the building there were loads of people to take part in a virtual experience. “It was a really cool experience where you could stand in front of a screen in the high street, and the screen would pretend to scan you.” The scanner would then generate your own Lego character!
“The main thing for me was the human-to-human side of it. It was such a great experience.” Bryn adds. “It just allows for a much more immersive and experiential journey.”
Number Four: Pokémon Go
Finally, the final favorite goes to the world-renowned Pokémon Go. Bryn says this one may be old school but can’t be ignored. There are plenty of lessons this experience can teach us (besides jumping into the sea searching for Pikachu).
The Pokémon Go app creators have established a business model perfect for marketers. They’ve made local hangouts and landmarks an integral part of the game. Now, players of all ages are flocking to these areas to catch Pokémon, grab supplies, and maybe stop for an iced coffee or a quick snack before heading back out on the trail. They developed seamless transition between playing the game and paying patronage to a local business.
“Make sure you’re pushing towards innovation, change, and positivity for your users.”