Accessories retailer Mimco has deployed a 1.4 metre interactive multi-touch ‘table’ in its new flagship Sydney boutique.
At a time when retailers see customer experience as their top strategic priority – as a study by Frost & Sullivan concluded this week – Mimco is one of the 58 percent of retailers taking action to address it.
Mimco partnered with Telstra and Mandoe Media – a digital advertising company – to create the ‘table’, which is housed in its new store in the Mid City centre in Pitt Street Mall.
The table itself is actually a MultiTaction high-resolution, multi-touch display. It contains infrared LEDs with embedded digital cameras that detect shapes and 2D barcodes placed directly on the surface.
“This allows the Mimco touch table to identify products placed on it and retrieve content, specifications, pricing, accessories, and product details,” the retailer said in a statement.
“In terms of customer experience, customers will be able to digitally interact with selected products on the Mimco table,” a Mimco spokesperson told Information Age.
“They will be able to view the product journey [through Mimco's ethical sourcing] and receive a detailed insight into the product they have selected, including how to wear it and care instructions.”
Similar technology is used by Fujifilm Australia in its own retail settings. It has incorporated a Microsoft Surface display into its photo kiosks that lets people collaboratively create photo albums.
The 76cm touchscreen can handle 52 touches at a time and – like the Mimco display – also uses infrared cameras “to literally see what is on its table top”.
Complex customer experience
Mimco’s investment comes in the same week as a study by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, commissioned by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and NetSuite, has highlighted the importance of making customer experience a top priority.
Improving the customer experience is seen as the best way to attract and retain customers to a specific brand, but the study found 42 percent of respondents had no customer experience management strategy.
In addition, the study found “the proliferation of retail channels has made customer experience management far more challenging, with retailers now required to deliver a consistently high and increasingly personalised customer experience across multiple channels – brick-and-mortar stores, online, mobile, call centres and social media.”
"The changing retail environment and the emergence of the multi-channel retail model are driving a profound change in the way that retailers manage their business," Frost & Sullivan A/NZ managing director Mark Dougan said.
"Retailers are moving away from the traditional aspirations of increasing store sales year-on-year and are putting more effort into measuring and monitoring customer satisfaction and lifetime value.”
Of the 58 percent of retailers that are addressing customer experience head-on, medium and large retailers are more likely to “measure or monitor” the relative success or failure of their strategy.
However, “only 37 percent of smaller retailers do [the same], with many relying on unsolicited customer feedback,” the study said.