For our latest R&D project we want to enable in store consumers of a well-known high street brand to digitally interact with physical products to gain additional information about them, more specifically:

- Enable consumers to click, tap or scan a product or product label to access additional information
- Display additional information including product information, competitor pricing, stock availability online and in different retail outlets, user reviews (including social commentary on the product)   and videos of the product in use

Audi City Digital Showroom Experience and Nike Retail Stores are existing examples of how brands can support the mind-set of retail being an experience that allows showrooming, and try before you buy - which is exactly what we want to develop over the next few months.

So far, we’ve focused on the benefits of heading in store, as opposed to going online. These include:

- Holding a product, smelling it, touching it and make sure it is exactly what you want
- Speak to experts 
- Quickly buy something on the run

Simultaneously, we’re looking at the in-store pain points that consumers face, like:
- Choosing something when there is too much choice
- Finding the specific product you’re looking for amongst all others
- Limited product range in smaller stores
- Reluctance to “order in” without seeing the product
- Easily getting attention from store staff

Our prototype will aim to solve one (or more) of these pain points and we have lots (and lots) of cool ideas - now it’s just a case of agreeing on one and making sure that the solution is more than an in-store website. It needs to be embedded in the experience, and make people want to go in-store to shop. It should aggregate all of the most important information and stand alongside the physical product as an extension of the other in-store information.

The goal is to remove the stress and uncertainty from in-store shopping, and bring to the customers a wealth of knowledge and information. By combining the physical and digital, we’ll enhance their shopping experience into one that they will not only look forward to, but will make them feel understood by our brand.

Over the next weeks we will produce prototypes of increasing fidelity levels to test our ideas fast and at low risk. We see them as questions put into physical space and will use the customer feedback to iterate towards a successful product that delights customers and business. Watch this space!

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