Business opportunities 3.Digitising the retail advisor

With online channels increas- ingly putting the pressure on high street outlets, it’s no won- der that retailers are looking to technology to provide innova- tion that will pull the shoppers in. The physical store is still a vital influencer on poten- tial purchase decisions. But sometimes customers find poor service and difficulties finding products create barri- ers to them buying the goods they want. To address this, many stores or brands employ specialist sales teams or in-store product experts as part of their market- ing strategy.

But as budgets

are squeezed, can technology offer a solution that allows a high enough staff coverage to fully meet their clients’ needs efficiently?

team of highly knowledgeable specialists, based anywhere in the world, can be accessed via a network of screens across multiple outlets.

It’s a highly

scalable, extremely cost-effec- tive solution for retailers, and with improved access to retail sales team or product experts, for shoppers it’s the next-best thing to talking to a live per- son. Indeed, with its incredi- ble range of applications, Vpod claim that in many cases, it’s even better.

This type of solution offers:

• Live customer interactions and demonstrations - that can be recorded and used across omni- or multi-channel for- mats, such as social media, websites, video on demand and so on

tion starter at BT's immersive Innovation Centre at Adastral Park in Suffolk - one of the world’s most famous telecoms and computing addresses, with a campus that covers 100 acres, and home to around 4000 scientists, IT experts and engineers.

The Innovation Centre is a showcase for the latest think- ing in key sectors including retail, health and banking. As the first point of contact, Vgreet acts as the Centre’s concierge, allowing visitors to connect to specific areas via video. Vgreet allows video exchange calls to be routed in the same way as audio, with users for- warded to the correct remote specialist.

It’s an installation

that demonstrates just how powerful Vgreet can be when centralising expertise. Vgreet from Vpod is a product at the forefront of a new way for shoppers to engage with retailers. See Vgreet in action at: loads/vp_spec_vgreet.pdf Vgreet from Vpod: improved consumer experience – infor- mation, product details and live expert advice are there at the swipe of a touchscreen, us- ing the familiar gestures we all use with smartphones.

4.Let the products speak for themselves!


Information kiosks are a traditional complement to in- store staff but cannot offer the same level of personal interaction that you get when talking to a human being. That scaling up of face-to-face in- teractive support across multi- ple outlets is something many retailers have a challenge with and it is an issue that technol- ogy can address.

One solution that tackles this scalability issue head-on is Vgreet from Vpod. It’s a prod- uct at the forefront of a new way for shoppers to engage with retailers. Offering a com- plete, end-to-end solution, it helps the retailer can get the most benefit from its import- ant connections. And it makes customer interactions imme- diate, focussed and easy-to- manage.

In a nutshell, Vgreet is a big screen smart device that uses video conferencing technology, combined with content man- agement software. Amongst countless other uses, it gives instant and personal access to product experts. This live communications tool opens up service like nothing else on the market, allowing shoppers to talk to a real person imme- diately

- without stretching

the retailer’s resources. The deployment of video and audio can happen simultaneously whilst displaying other con- tent.

The solution helps retailers to maximise their expert hu- man resources. A centralised

P8 AV News May 2018 – information, product description

• Improved consumer experi- ence


details and live expert advice are there at the swipe of a touchscreen, using the familiar gestures we all use with smart- phones

• Personalised interactions -

uses face recognition to greet customers and display rele- vant promotions and discounts, helping shoppers to make in- formed, rapid decisions • Maximised budgets - keeps clients happy and delivers a personal customer experience instantly - without a huge staff overhead

• Pro-active engagement – can be programmed to interact with clients in different ways de- pending on their behaviours, reducing customer churn and enhancing brand loyalty

Because the team at Vpod are inhouse developers and design- ers, they create software that is totally bespoke to each cus- tomer. This gives them a huge amount of flexibility to tailor Vgreet

entirely client’s needs. to individual From simple

‘help’ interfaces, to complex video tools that allow custom- ers to ‘try on’ outfits, the sys- tem is fully customisable. And with sophisticated reporting, retailers gain a greater insight into call times, dwell times, customer demographics and advert efficiency, resulting in a compelling ROI.

In a recent project, Vgreet proved to be a great conversa-

P10 AV News June 2018

screens currently deployed with STiNO software worldwide, it’s a well-established and highly proven brand. It’s a solution that makes com- plex campaign distribution simple, supporting the whole of an infrastructure from a cen- tral server. For example, SEAT runs their

internal electronic

communications system across their German dealership net- work using the software. The benefits are:

• Total flexibility in the hard- ware that can be used, giving the ability to choose your own software regardless of platform

See STiNO in action at: VMgh4

Digital signage solutions are by no means new in retail, and it’s no surprise, as it is an in- dispensable technology, a pow- erful, persuasive and dynamic communications platform that is proven to increase customer engagement. STiNO offers something rath- er different to the many other solutions on the market. It’s a brand without a lot of recogni- tion for two reasons. Firstly, it does not have a history of be- ing actively sold through a re- seller channel, and secondly, it’s often adopted as an OEM solution. But with over 40,000

or screen type

• OEM availability for client branding opportunities • Exceptionally cost-effective scalability, with all functional- ity inbuilt in the software • Easy budgeting with leasing, rental or purchasing options

The flexibility aspect is key. A SaaS solution, STiNO claim to be one of the only providers to offer digital signage software that supports diversified hard- ware platforms - from PC to SoC systems running Windows, Android and Linux operating systems. The

solution also delivers

support for fully interactive applications via multi-touch displays, as well as remote management possibilities us- ing mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. What this means is that it is entirely adaptable to changing needs. It integrates equally well with a Windows player for a kiosk application or a hand-held tab- let running on Android. Hence why it is an ideal solution to support any type of digital mar- keting strategy.

From back office communica- tions to point of sale interac- tion, proximity marketing to on-shelf promotions, customer recognition to store mapping, solutions such as STiNO do much more than replace print- ed posters.

Both of these technologies can deliver solutions for modern re- tail digital marketing, such as proximity marketing.

Digital signage platform provider STiNO was involved in this SEAT project right from the start.

Their Product Manager Swen Topp describes the particular challenges faced. "We real- ised that in the SEAT flagship dealerships, the need went far beyond the level of conven- tional signage solutions. This is a project in which automat- ed interactivity is integral to the whole breadth of electron- ic customer communications.” “We had to address a com- plex variety of functions. The customer experience starts with a large welcome screen in the reception area, with multiple touch points.


waiting areas, visitors access entertainment and information content. And in the heart of the showroom, the customer can experience the SEAT car configurator on an interactive touch screen. Additional inter- active screens are positioned next to each model in the showroom, explaining the car’s features, along with further small screens at the service desk. Last but not least, there

tomer emotion and using this in a pioneering way to improve the service they deliver. As Topp concludes, “the suc- cess of this programme was down to the level of automa- tion creating a hugely positive impact on the user.


ing with the system is entirely intuitive - as natural and easy as using a phone, for custom- ers and staff alike.”

SEAT flagship dealerships rely on total interactivity

Spanish automotive company SEAT, part of the Volkswagen Group, manufactures reliable, beautiful cars. The company has undertaken a programme of redevelopment in its flag- ship dealerships in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Als- bach, to make these outlets significantly more attractive to a discerning, younger target group. A central part of that re- development was the introduc- tion of interactive digital sig- nage – a pilot project designed to specifically address the core needs of a typical SEAT cus- tomer.

Digital signage platform pro- vider STiNO was involved in this project right from the start.

is a large screen positioned in the car pick-up area. It’s an opportunity to congratulate the customer on the great choice they have made – and to demonstrate additional acces- sories that they can buy, such as roof and bicycle racks.” The system has opened up totally new customer dialogue opportunities, with staff re- porting an increased level of customer enthusiasm, particu- larly when using the interactive functions. Whichever part of the dealership the customer is in, they are invited to discover, and interact with, the creative

and fun side of SEAT. From the company’s view point, they be- lieve they are harnessing cus-

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