Highlights from the Interactive Customer Experience Summit

The ICX Summit (Interactive Customer Experience), which took place early June in Dallas, Texas, is an exclusive event that explores interactive technologies to enhance the customer experience. Through a multitude of sessions with guest speakers such as Scott Emmons, Head of the Innovation Lab at Neiman Marcus or Albert Vita, Director, Strategy & Insights at The Home Depot, we learn how the retail industry is keeping their brick-and-mortar stores relevant.

According to a survey conducted by Bouncepad, we learn that consumers want more technology: 77% of consumers are more likely to visit businesses that offer technology and 77% are more likely to shop at brick-and-mortar stores that offer self-serve or assisted tablets. With these statistics in mind, what is the key to deliver an exceptional customer journey?

Technology deployment needs to solve a need or a problem for customers to be successful.

Many consumers (61%) want technology to help them skip the line in stores, but when asked what is the most important thing that technology at a retail store should help them do, consumers ranked “Help me check prices” (49 percent), “Help me find what I need” (46 percent), and “Help me take advantage of discounts or promotions” (43 percent) among their top two choices.

Paul Blackburn, center, expands on customer engagement, flanked at left by Tobi Schneidler and Andrew Winninger. Photo by Matt Tilbury.

Our CEO, Tobi Schneidler moderated a panel titled “Your Venue as a Community Gathering Place” which offered insights into how retailers are making consumers feel at home when they visit stores.

Andrew Winninger, Business Development Manager at Capital One Bank, described the concept of Capital One cafes where customers could gather around a coffee, socialize, browse the web and doing their usual banking if they wanted to. The main goal is to drive engagement rather than transaction.

Paul Blackburn, vice president of concept design, construction and merchandising at L’Occitane en Provence (a France-based chain selling skincare, bath and hair products), talked about the new design of their stores to encourage socializing with lounging area.The revamped stores are also hosting social activities such as open mic nights or “Friends Night Out” where friends can gather in a store, choose among a list of pampering activities, learn more about L’Occitane products and purchase them at a discounted price.

Due to the shift to mobile and online, retail stores need to innovate and differentiate their brand by using a curated blend of physical and digital experience in store in order to create a more personalised and seamless customer journey. The overall experience is the biggest factor on whether a purchase will be made and will impact the future relationship the consumer has with a brand.