Future-proofing the retail experience

Founded in 1984, NU SKIN is a health and beauty company that develops and sells over 200 personal care products. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Nu Skin’s products are available in around 50 markets all over the world through a multi-level marketing business model, which is made up of independent business partners and distributors. Wanting to further adapt to market trends and appeal to a younger demographic, Nu Skin approached SLD to create a new experience center that could be utilized throughout their growing China market. SLD worked collaboratively with consulting firm, MetaThink, to build a new flagship store that is an immersive, engaging experience for all visitors. Nu Skin unveiled their new experience center, Nu Xtore, in Shenzhen, China in November 2018.  Leveraging the latest in technology and design trends, Nu Xtore creates a personalized, interactive experience through the integration of both digital and physical elements. The store features over 50 digital screens in a variety of configurations, powered by Omnivex Moxie software. On the SLD website you can read their full case study on Nu Skin to learn more about the project and how SLD helped create an experience center that reflected the company’s story and brand culture, and showcased products.

AI is changing the face of retail

Digital signage is now a familiar site in the modern world. From displaying menus at restaurants to offering directions in a building, digital signage feeds audiences information in a dynamic way. But how much more valuable could this channel be? Can digital signage take on a role to personalize messages or respond to a situation in real-time? Yes, with help from artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. Deep learning turns data into action With deep learning, AI-driven platforms evaluate large data sets, typically in real-time, leading to specific reactions. AI engines have access to huge amounts of data. Data, of course, isn’t any good unless it’s analyzed and delivers an actionable response. AI is all about automation. It doesn’t necessarily “think” for you. What it can do is draw conclusions, find patterns, and react to situations. The platform can “learn” over time, making it an even more valuable tool. So, what does the future of digital signage look like with a boost from AI and deep learning? Personalized Experiences Every customer wants to feel important and have a personalized experience. AI and deep learning are the tools to make it happen. Soon, digital signage platforms, powered by AI and deep learning, could actually recognize customers. Just like local stores once new all their customers’ names, digital signage could act as a greeter. The digital signage could recognize the customer, say hello, and offer them useful information like what’s on sale, based on the customer’s buying history. While an amazing fete of technology, organizations should present this as a way to personalize what you see, becoming a benefit rather than a privacy concern. More Relevant Content In-store shopping continues to decline in favor of online shopping. That means retailers need to create experiences for shoppers who visit their brick-and-mortar stores. Many have already been using digital signage to promote sales or offer customers an in-depth look at products. AI can take it to the next level with personalization. A business already has historical data on its customers and their behaviors. Specific content is already created that plays at certain times or days. That’s the baseline that informs what content these consumers would most want to see. With AI and deep learning, there are two ways to improve content: either by putting the data in context or creating personalized ads. With context, the system is already starting with known behaviors like an increase in purchases of sunglasses after sunny days. But that won’t always be true. Deep learning adds context to this “rule” by capturing and integrating content that informs the situation. Maybe it’s a rainy day, which the system could detect with weather data. Or, the store knows, via sensors, that no one is shopping for sunglasses. This “learning” allows for the signage to “overrule” the sunglasses promo, switching it to items shoppers were currently looking at or umbrellas. Deep learning by an AI platform enables targeting down to the individual. If a male shopper enters a clothing store, digital signage could detect that the shopper was in his 20s wearing hiking boots. The system takes this information then reviews what items are in stock or on sale that men who purchased hiking boots also bought. What it finds could then be communicated to the shopper in almost real-time. Not only is the customer seeing personalized information it will prompt them to look at these items and make more purchases. How Will AI Evolve Your Digital Signage? The investment in digital signage and AI will continue to grow. The global digital signage market is expected to grow to $31.71 billion by 2025.[1] While the AI market is predicted to rise to nearly $60 billion by 2025.[2] These sectors are seeing phenomenal growth, which means organizations all over the world are investing in them to deliver better results. Intelligent digital communications are changing the world. Are you ready to be a part of it?   [1] [2]  

Reinventing in store experience with help from digital displays

Ecommerce has changed the way consumers shop, and is considered to be the driving force behind the fall of once venerable brands such as Sears, Kmart, and Blockbuster Video. Still, brick-and-mortar stores haven’t completely gone the way of the dinosaur, and in an interesting turn of events, Amazon purchased Whole Foods in 2017 as a way of strengthening its physical presence. This acquisition demonstrates a strategic effort by the biggest name in ecommerce to expand operations in the physical space in order to better capture consumer dollars as brick-and-mortar stores are becoming relevant once more. It is all about the experience Computer savvy millennials are known to prefer experiences, which is why TJX Companies. Inc. is adding stores, even as some once dominant brands are closing up shop. As a discount retailer with an ever changing inventory, TJX (Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and HomeGoods) compels shoppers to come in, find bargains, and try on clothing – an experience that can’t be duplicated while sitting behind a computer screen or swiping on a phone. TJX isn’t the only company intent on providing consumers with an immersive shopping experience. The upcoming launch of Amazon Go, a smart brick-and-mortar shop, will give customers the ability to come into a store, physically interact with goods, and purchase products by simply putting them into a shopping cart. With sensors and intelligent technology, there’s no need to wait in line for a human cashier. This innovative method of purchasing will provide customers with an exciting and interactive way to shop. Integrating digital communications As retail brands expand their physical presence in 2018, they will look to integrate digital communications in-store to facilitate better customer experiences. Interactive video walls offer ways to boost engagement and serve as wayfinding tools to help shoppers navigate spaces. Interactivity will likely evolve from touchscreens to voice recognition, allowing customers to easily find the information they’re looking for with a natural voice command. The new year will also see more harmonious connectivity between mobile devices and in-store video displays as a part of larger digital strategy that makes the interaction between the two technologies more seamless than ever. From the outbreak of the digital revolution, traditional retailers and internet brands have been in competition, with the odds favoring ecommerce stores. However, online shopping has not eliminated in-store purchases, with brick-and-mortar shops positioning to stage an impressive comeback. Brands will leverage digital communication displays inside physical locations to provide customers with an immersive and hassle-free way to shop. Learn more about how digital communication technology enables a superior customer experience by visiting today.  

The New Face of Retail in 2017

What a difference a year makes. Just last fall I wrote about how retailers needed to rethink how they attract and retain customers. The article highlighted the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), and how new devices equipped with sensors that can communicate with each other has enabled retailers to create new, personalized shopping experiences for consumers. While still relevant, this approach was thrown a major curve ball earlier this week in the form of an announcement from Amazon about its Amazon Go store. As noted in this recent article “With the debut of's Amazon Go, consumers don't have to think about their phones or downloading multiple apps or even picking up a specific brand. By contrast, Amazon's system, which only requires one app download, a smartphone, and an Amazon account, democratizes the playing field and allows consumers to move seamlessly through a store. Er, well,'s store.” The Amazon Go concept reminds me of a discussion I had earlier this fall with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, President of Shikatani Lacroix, a Toronto-based branding and design agency. He spoke to me about how digital has forced organizations to rethink their business models. In one example, he highlighted how Loblaws, a market leader in the supermarket category in Canada has invested in a loyalty program that rewards behaviour. The company is exploring offering consumers the choice to order groceries on their phone and pick them up at a drive through. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate anxiety and friction points, such as long line ups, for shoppers. Amazon Go takes the elimination of friction points to a whole new level. It will also cause a number of bricks and mortar retailers to speed up the pace at which they; rethinking their own business models. 2017 will be an interesting year for the retail industry. The IoT technologies I highlighted last year will continue to play a leading role and are critical components of how Amazon Go and other retailers will be successful. I believe that we will also see more players like shaking up the bricks and mortar retailers. How will this all play out over 2017? It’s hard to say for sure but I know it’s going to be an exciting year for retailers and consumers!

The Self-Service Movement of Interactive Kiosks

Consumers today are more self-directed than ever. Few are bothered by self-checkout lanes in supermarkets or fast food restaurants, and the trial and adoption of these self-serve kiosks is growing rapidly. The growth in popularity and usage is partly due to companies getting better at implementing self-service technologies but is also due to the average consumer being more technologically savvy. Kiosks with Interactive Displays Prompt In-Store Purchases Self-service kiosks are becoming increasingly common in retail stores and fast food chains. They provide shoppers with the opportunity to direct their own experience, which makes it more enjoyable and efficient. These self-service kiosks are powered by interactive touch screens and are often combined with additional digital signs which provides businesses with an opportunity to cross-sell and upsell their products and services. A recent survey by InReality on the Reality of Retail found that 69% of customers would be more likely to make in-store purchases if they had access to kiosks or interactive displays. As well, the survey found 78% would be more likely to visit a store that offered self-service for finding products or brands and a self-service solution for product or price comparison would increase the likelihood of 75% of customers making a purchase. The online shopping experience has changed the in-store experience for customers, and to remain competitive, bricks-and-mortar retailers are having to become smarter, more data-driven, and more technology-forward. Self-service kiosks can be an important aspect of technological sophistication. Self-Service Ticketing Can Be a New Profit Center Self-service kiosks for ticketing are proving to be valuable profit generators for many businesses. Not only can most of the headaches of paper-based ticketing systems be avoided with these self-service solutions, they generate profits due to the fact they reduce the amount of staff required and often can process business faster. For example, a sports or entertainment venue, or a transportation hub can use self-service kiosks to quickly and easily dispense tickets and process payments, as well as promote complimentary products, services or events. Integration with sales and inventory systems and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies also provides numerous opportunities for making self-serve kiosks even more valuable to both businesses and customers. Putting the Customer in Charge When a customer interacts with a well-implemented self-service kiosk, they feel as if they have more control over their shopping experience. Advertising delivered through interactive digital signage that is part of the self-service kiosk can find a receptive audience as long as kiosk users have that feeling of contentment with the technology and control of the event. Self-service options that are consistent from location to location offer customers a sense of familiarity that can reduce the anxiety of shopping in a new setting and set the stage for successfully presenting offers and discounts.    

The new face of retail is digital

These days to get people out of their houses and shopping in the store retailers need to rethink how they attract and retain customers. From the exterior of the store through to the checkout retailers need to create an immersive and personalized shopping experience. The explosion of the Internet of Things and new devices such as sensors that can communicate with each other has enabled retailers to create a new personalized shopping experience. Today posters and shelf tags have been replaced with dynamic digital signs that offer real-time information on products and availability, as well as interactive information or visually enticing photos and video. Screens at checkouts leverage loyalty program information to offer personalized information on complimentary products or services relevant to the individual at the register. Do you remember pouring over a paper catalogue looking at toys when you were a kid? These days paper catalogues have now taken the form of self-serve kiosks that allow customers to view a retailers full offering and place orders without having to go up to the checkout. How many times have you asked a clerk to check the stockroom for a size you need? Now in many retail stores clerks are armed with tablets that provide real-time information on inventory levels and enable them to provide you with additional product information or reviews. Retailers that want to leap frog the competition have realized creating an immersive digital experience in their stores is key. Critical to this is having a software platform that can take information from a variety of sources and drive an immersive and interactive visual experience across all of these devices.  Read The Connected Store whitepaper for more information!

Say goodbye to paper menus

In any food service environment, increasing sales is of the utmost importance for business owners. With the use of digital menu boards comes the ability to segment on-screen content to allow for space to list menu items and pricing, as well as in-house promotions and external advertising. In the past, static signage was used to feature menu items and promotional specials, but keeping this information up to date was an issue. With pricing and in-store specials changing weekly, and even daily, it was nearly impossible to constantly ensure static displays were relevant. By the time a particular franchise location is notified of a menu change, receives new artwork, and replaces the stale content, they have lost valuable time in which they could have been promoting the new feature. With the introduction of digital signage menu boards comes the ability to integrate real time data, and use it to drive the content on the screen. By tying into companies existing data systems, such as a POS system, digital signage can reflect these changes instantaneously. The same functionality comes into play when dealing with quick service restaurants that have varying menus depending on the time of day. Digital menu boards can dynamically alter to showcase either a breakfast, lunch or dinner menu depending on the time of day. Gone are the days when staff would need to manually replace traditional signage; now they can focus on their key job function: servicing customers. Improved inventory management is another benefit of utilizing digital menu boards. If an item has sold out, the software can automatically remove that product from the display. Similarly, if sales on a particular menu item are down, the software can be programmed to display that product more prominently to help boost sales. Good looking and intelligent Aesthetic appeal and creating compelling brand messaging are always important factors when creating customer facing content. In the case of menu boards, there's only a short window to catch the viewer's attention and entice them to make a purchase. Digital menu boards allow food service providers to customize their on-screen content in order to create rich, compelling graphics that do just that. It is often difficult for food service providers to maintain consistent brand imagery across multiple store locations, such as in the case of a franchise. It is critical for these retailers to adhere to companywide brand standards while still retaining the flexibility to make changes to local content such as business hours and in-store specials. By utilizing digital signage and its user permissioning capabilities, individual franchisees can have the ability to make changes to certain content on the screens while corporate maintains control of key brand elements. With this functionality, businesses can maintain a consistent brand message while still allowing franchise locations to provide the local information relevant to a customer's needs. Get Engaged Digital menu boards provide the ability to create a more interactive experience for viewers. Food services providers are now able to use their displays as a way to engage with their customers through the use of dynamic, real time content. Unlike with static displays, digital signage will never look tired or old. While posters may fade or yellow, digital content is always vibrant and fresh. Video content is a much more appealing way to showcase signature items and specials. With digital signage you can easily cycle through video content to ensure that customers in line are seeing as much advertising content as possible, while simultaneously reducing their perceived wait time. The promotions being showcased are always timely and relevant because the data driving the content is being updated in real time, taking the burden off staff who no longer need to manually update it themselves. It's all About the Data A key differentiator between the use of traditional static signage and digital signage is the ability to incorporate data. By using data to drive content you can ensure that your message is delivered to the right people at the right time, which helps drive the customer to the desired outcome: making a purchase. Time is money in the food service industry, and creating clear and impactful content is a key success factor in driving up sales. At the same time, businesses are working with tight budgets and even tighter deadlines, so increasing productivity and improving efficiency represents another top priority. Digital menu boards satisfy all of these criteria by enabling companies to eliminate nearly all of the redundancies and manual effort required to maintain static displays. Digital signage is changing the way businesses manage content and communicate with customers. Read the full whitepaper!

Webinar - The Connected Experience — From Shopper to Store to Head Office

Event description 

Technology is changing how retailers interact with their customers, employees and head office. The ability of devices, whether in-store sensors, mobile, kiosks, or digital signs to communicate with each other offers the potential to create an entirely new experience for shoppers, employees and retail executives while providing increasing insight and intelligence about the shopping experience.

Join us for an interactive webcast that will demonstrate how you can:

  • Create an interactive and engaging in-store experience for your customers that can easily be customized by geographic location or other criteria
  • Capture data from in-store interactions with devices and leverage that information in real-time to improve your business
  • Arm your in-store employees with the technology to roam throughout the store and interact with customers all while being able to easily access systems like the POS and inventor


Eric Kamont
Retail Solutions Specialist, Microsoft

Jeff Collard
President, Omnivex Corporation

Moderated By:

Marianne Wilson
Editor, Chain Store Age

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