Touchscreens offer brand-to-customer engagement

In Store Experiences

11/02/2015

With touchscreens now a widespread and well-understood technology, they can form a bridge between buyers and sellers.

Brands want to ensure that customers feel close to and comfortable with the company. Loyalty is one of the most valuable commodities a business can secure, and engagement is the key to gaining it. Companies need to think about the ways in which they are interacting with prospective shoppers. Streamlining and improving those channels to maximize the connection is important. Today, with more people searching for technological and self-guided methods of browsing and buying, incorporating devices and software into a retail digital strategy is especially vital. If the chosen method of discovery is inconvenient, consumers might turn away - but if it is good, they could become highly engaged.

"Consumers may put down their devices and use kiosks."

Touchscreens are everywhere
The use of touchscreen technology in retail is a classic case of giving customers what they have come to expect. With smartphones and tablets proliferating, the usefulness of touch devices has become common knowledge. People know how to navigate using touchscreen interfaces, so there is no learning curve. Businesses that use this technology in their showrooms are enabling shoppers to step up and guide their own research or even purchases all through a tech tool that has become second nature. This lack of challenge is an easy entry point that can build a relationship between buyer and seller.

The flip side of touchscreens' familiarity is that companies cannot employ half measures or deliver a disappointing experience. In a world where consumers have responsive and useful smartphones in their pocket, a slow operating system or screen that refuses to register gestures could lead to a disconnect. When a kiosk is compelling, consumers may put down their devices and use the large screen to browse products. This means they are in an environment with only that brand's products. If the kiosk experience disappoints, however, they may go right back to browsing online via smartphones and tablets, possibly directing their attention to another company's offerings.

Image removed.Customers today have become used to touchscreens and often, carry one with them everywhere.

High-quality interactive kiosk solutions will employ a variety of common screen gestures, with hand movements such as pinching the screen, tapping or sliding providing the user fast and intuitive reactions. Browsing images and videos this way is easy and enjoyable, creating ideal conditions for shoppers to keep looking until they find something that suits their needs. When retailers use resources installed on the kiosks instead of streaming Web multimedia, they can optimize response time. Automatic downloads of new content will enable these systems to be constantly up-to-date and online connections can display real-time news and weather, but the high-bandwidth items are stored on the devices themselves, ready to go.

Self-guided journeys
The millennial shopper has grown up in a world where he or she doesn't have to leave home to sample products of all kinds. These buyers will interact with companies on their own terms, determining the context of the interaction, including the timeline. The model of the eager salesperson who makes an aggressive pitch has been rendered completely outdated by the rise of this generation. Fortunately, by deploying interactive kiosks, companies can respect the autonomous nature of the modern audience while still showing off the best they have to offer. As long as the technology meets with expectations, engagement is possible.

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