Ford unveiled its ‘Autolivery’ concept for autonomous drone deliveries at Mobile World Congress (MWC).
Measure and define the intended value of digital engagement initiatives
Today’s technology opens the door to endless possibilities and enhanced features, many of which find their way onto retail shop floors for no other reasons than “being cool”. But once the media sound bite passes, and the technology sits in the store, will consumers embrace the new features. Will it provide consumer value that drives them to purchase? That, according to keynote speaker, Lief Bode Nielsen at this week’s Global E-commerce Summit, should be the focus of new tech implementation. Nielsen is the Sr. omnichannel manager at Lego — the 82-year-old toy retailer that still manages to captivate today’s youths with (not so simple anymore) bricks.
Tablets, AR, VR, and more. . .
Speaking at the Global E-commerce Conference in Barcelona, Nielsen shared how Lego effectively integrates digital technology into a growing number of its brick and mortar stores.
Lego has successfully tested the use of in-store tablets to demonstrate product features and display greater online inventory options. It has also experimented with “Digibox” augmented reality (AR) kiosk, which allow shoppers to scan product boxes and see features of a set come to life.
Expanding on the AR theme, some Lego flagship stores even create “Lego experiences” where passersby get transformed into video game Lego characters that can be controlled by movements. The interactive experience elevates the store from just a place of purchase to an attraction that’s an extension of Lego’s brand values. And perhaps more importantly, it automatically intrigues shoppers who may not have stepped inside the store otherwise.
Lego is even experimenting with an ‘explore before you buy’ VR app which enables parents (or that generous gift giver) to down VR headsets and take a virtual tour through product models — allowing them explore pieces and features — to assess whether it provides good entertainment value before deciding to make that investment of purchase.
Don’t overload your consumer
But all in good time stressed Nielsen. He cautioned the audience not to over-engineer digital engagement efforts. While retailers shouldn’t be too timid and run the risk of being viewed by potential customers as passé or out of touch, neither can retailers afford to deploy technology and new digital engagement initiatives purely for the sake of doing so. Not only is it cost inefficient, it risks overloading customers with complicated features for which they have little or no interest. It can also potentially drive consumers away to other outlets that offer the simplified efficient engagement they desire.
Measurement is key
So how do you find the balance of innovation? Are efforts being measured to identify what works? And how do you know what works? These are questions continually asked internally at Lego and questions all companies should consider, according to Nielsen. It requires identifying the right key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business and continuously measuring the results of omnichannel innovation.