Technology in Retail Merchandising: Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages?


Retailers are now using high technology & interactive displays to attract store visitors. Interactive retail merchandising displays are currently one of the top trends in product merchandising.

Have you ever experienced walking into a store and receiving notifications on your phone about current sales at the stores you’re in? This is what happens when retailers use beacons to gather data on in-store traffic. Beacons are a highly controversial form of retail technology. Some beacons operate through store apps installed on shopper’s mobile devices.  They notify shoppers of sales and promotions, and even offer mobile coupons to be used at purchase. Retailers then gain feedback on how many offers were redeemed, as well as stats on consumer product inquiries. While good for merchants and retailers, some consumers worry about the safety and privacy of these beacons that know their very location. Despite this, of the 1,400 U.S consumers that took part in a survey it was found that most shoppers would opt in to being tracked by beacons while shopping if given the proper incentives such as coupons, and promotions.

Interactive POP displays are another form of technology that is becoming more dominant in retail merchandising. Interactive displays can have multiple benefits for retailers.  Most of these fall into three basic categories which are;  interactive, informational, and functional displays  For instance, a custom wine display designed and manufactured here at Sharn Enterprises serves an interactive display by allowing shoppers to select a dinner entrée and then automatically pairing it with a wine that is complimentary to the meal. At the bottom of the display are the storage compartments with all the wines suggested on the monitor.

SV0815P_WineDisplay

Sharn also created a Bumpstep interactive, informational display for consumers. This display included a monitor that allows shoppers to learn of the many features that this Bump Step product offers. As you can see, the display itself has plenty of the products featured available for purchase.

WT1014P_BumpStep

These interactive displays feature audio, video, motion, etc which has great benefit for retailers and merchants. One being that it draws attention of the “Impulse shopper”. These attractive displays cause consumers to spend more time browsing and interacting with products. In return, retailers will see a boost in sales. Despite the benefits of these interactive displays some may come with complications. There is always the possibility that these displays can be slow to load the video or audio content, or failure due to power outages.  Occasionally you may encounter costly and time consuming repairs. Because Sharn Enterprises specializes in POP and custom displays, we have found various ways to create these interactive displays while avoiding most of the expensive troubleshooting.  For example; utilizing back up batteries. In the case of equipment failure the backup batteries will kick in to gear ensuring the display will remain active. This secondary source of power will always prevent the displays from failure.

So our question is, do the benefits of interactive displays outweigh the disadvantages? Is the high technology in retail merchandising displays worthy of being put to use? Manufacturers  and merchants, we would love to hear what you think. To learn more about our Company, its products and services, please visit our website at www.sharndisplays.com.
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