Rethinking Black Friday: Using Augmented Reality and the Visual Store

Retail Black Friday has truly evolved over the years. In some ways, it’s become diluted. The price-slashing starts earlier, and lines have been replaced by laptops and mobile devices as shoppers grab digital deals. In the store, shoppers still want low prices, but they also have an inclination for impulse spending and self-gifting.

It may be time to rethink Black Friday.

Merchants, you can rise to the challenge by reaching through the clutter to connect with shoppers and craft experiential moments tailored to your store and the shopping occasion.

The advance of augmented reality (AR) and product information management (PIM) technology is making this possible. Leveraging AR and the visual store, retailers and brands can:

  • Create great customer moments by converging a store’s physical assets with online/mobile to generate a new shopping reality.
  • Design a visual store and walk through it virtually to adjust displays and adjacencies more rapidly than ever before (and test before implementing).
  • Develop an AR mobile application with a new wayfinding approach to help customers find their desired products at the exact location in the store. Plus, link these products to compelling content, product availability, and alternative purchasing options for endless aisle.

Addressing the “3 C’s” of Digital Experiences

On Black Friday, your doorbuster sales may drive shoppers to your store, but you can deliver experiential moments as well – allowing for product discovery and sales lift. This unique approach is less about managing customers, and more about inspiring them. It’s about guiding them to the products they desire, and telling a story that speaks to their shopping occasion and preferences.

To provide this type of retail reality, merchants need to address the “3 C’s” missing from today’s digital equation:

1) Converge: Let a customer shop the same visual store whether they are online or offline.

2) Connect: Map the customer’s shopping list to the shopping path in the visual store.

3) Compel: Match great products and their stories to a customer’s interest and need.

The New Shopping Reality

Through the EnterWorks Storeytelling approach, we are making this strategy a reality for retailers and brands today.

EnterWorks PIM and MDM software assets, along with a 3D retail model from our partner Strategix CFT developed with Dassault Systèmes, now provides out-of-the-box capabilities including:

  • Category and asset-driven assortment management – where assets such as store space and dimensions, racks, refrigeration, and endcaps are linked to individual store locations.
  • 3D representation of the physical store, product placements, and space – using a combination of space plans and planograms.
  • Visual images for all products in the store – along with the associated atomic level product data, attributes, metadata, and categorizations.
  • Dynamic relational modeling of customer behavior – in context of their preferred store, leveraging loyalty data and other sources of customer transaction data.
  • Customer shopping lists – which are mapped to store wayfinding by individual store.

As you prepare for (and recover from) Black Friday 2018, take a moment to download the White Paper, Storeytelling: The New Shopping Reality.

Our upcoming webinar featuring Steven Keith Platt with Retail Analytics Council, Northwestern University discusses Machine Learning and AI: The Next Generation of MDM/PIM. Steven clarifies myths and share the future of AI and Machine Learning and how these cutting-edge technologies can help organizations create that unique customer experience.

Kerry Young

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.