Cisco Study Illustrates Immersive, In-Store Shopping Experiences

by | Jan 17, 2012 | IT

Cisco Study Illustrates How Immersive, In-Store Shopping Experiences “Catch” and “Keep” Tech-Savvy Consumers


Study Highlights a New Generation of Digitally-Rich, Easy-to-Use, Technology-Based Experiences That Make It Easy for Consumers to Buy More Both in the Store and Online


NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – Jan 16, 2012) – National Retail Federation 101th Convention & Expo, Booth 851 — A Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) survey released today identifies new ways for retailers to “catch” and “keep” channel-hopping customers to revitalize brick-and-mortar stores. Conducted by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) — the company’s global consultancy — and Cisco’s retail marketing team, the study surveyed 1,000 U.S. and 1,000 U.K. shoppers. Among the research’s many key findings was that retailers must respond to technology-savvy consumers by creating digitally-rich, easy-to-use, technology-based experiences in the store to expand basket size and increase margins. These experiences “mash up” physical retailing with the best of rich online content. Cisco’s retail solutions will be showcased at NRF booth 851.

The study revealed three specific shopping behaviors: (1) the influence that digital content has on consumer buying decisions, (2) how consumers engage in cross-channel shopping behavior, and (3) how consumers use technology while shopping. In addition, the survey polled shoppers about what kinds of technology-based experience prototypes they would like to use in stores. These cross-technology experiences, also known as “mashops” get their name because they “mash up” the virtual and physical worlds to create a new way to shop.

Influence of Online and Off-Line Information Sources
The survey found that digital content can frequently trigger consumers to buy. Bringing online digital content into the store is especially powerful in influencing buying decisions at the point of sale.

  • Nineteen percent of respondents were influenced to make a purchase with digital “inspiration” triggers
  • Thirty percent use online videos to choose the right product or service
  • Fifty-one percent of U.S. respondents now use or want to use an in-store kiosk for self-service of accessing web-based content
  • Forty-two percent of U.S. respondents use or are interested in using video screens or video walls within the store to make buying decisions
  • Forty percent of U.S. respondents use or are interested in using mobile phones for in-store digital content delivery
  • Thirty-five percent of U.S. respondents indicated current use or interest in using tablets for in-store digital content delivery

Cross-Channel Shopping Behavior
Internet ubiquity, personal technology adoption, and e-commerce growth have produced a new consumer behavior — cross-channel shopping. In this environment, consumers hop from one channel to another throughout the shopping journey looking for the best deal. For retailers that have achieved success through traditional practices (price, product, promotion and placement), cross-channel shopping demands a new approach to win customers.

The survey discovered that cross-channel shopping behavior is prevalent and desired by most consumers, with nearly 74 percent of all respondents conducting online research before making in-store purchasing decisions.

  • Fifty-three percent of shoppers reported current activity or interest in conducting research at an in-store kiosk and making their purchase immediately in the store
  • Forty-five percent reported current activity or interest in conducting research with a mobile device and then making their purchase in the store
  • Forty-four percent reported current activity or interest in conducting research with a mobile device and then making their purchase on a PC

Technology-Based Experiences
The survey also explored the types of innovative experiences retailers could provide to meet these new consumer behaviors by asking participants about five technology-based experiences they may want to use during the course of their shopping. The feedback shows how consumers want to use technology to make more informed and quicker decisions at point-of-purchase.

Immersive Experiences — The survey asked shoppers about their use of a more immersive shopping experience, where by standing in front of a large, full-length screen, they could select and “try on” clothing and accessories virtually. They also could view items such as furniture, lighting, and blinds in a virtual room setting.

  • Forty-six percent wanted to “try on” items
  • Forty-four percent wanted to coordinate items such as furniture, clothes, and accessories
  • Twenty-nine percent wanted to view/buy available products

Product Viewer — This technology-based experience provides shoppers with a large, interactive display to browse or look for specific products. The screen shows “go withs,” customer ratings, “likes,” and directions to products within the store. The most popular features included:

  • Forty-five percent liked the ability to compare products and pricing
  • Thirty-two percent enjoyed having access to detailed product specs
  • Twenty-nine percent were inclined to “like” products on the screen
  • Twenty-seven percent liked having directions to more easily locate products in the store

Shelf Help — Shoppers were asked about what information they preferred to have delivered either through interactive digital displays at the shelf level, or via an employee’s tablet or shopper’s smartphone. With this option, they could receive expert advice through self-service guided selling or via video-chat with a remote expert.

  • Forty-three percent of shoppers wanted to compare products and prices
  • Forty percent wanted to compare prices at a leading retailer
  • Thirty-one percent wanted detailed product specs
  • Thirty percent wanted a guide for selecting the best products

Personal Mobile Shopper — Retailers could also provide shoppers with a personal greeting on their mobile devices as they entered the store, and customized offers based on past transactions as well as “likes” on the retailer’s Facebook page.

  • Forty-nine percent liked the ability to compare products and prices
  • Forty percent liked the ability to opt in/out
  • Thirty-seven percent liked retailers to “push” offers for big purchases
  • Thirty-six percent liked directions to products in the store

Shoppers Favorites — Finally, shoppers were asked about how they would use a large in-store, high-definition, and constantly-updated display that showed new products, top sellers, and most “liked.” products within the store.

  • Forty-four percent liked up-to-the-minute special offers
  • Forty-three percent liked what’s new in the store
  • Forty-one percent liked limited-time specials
  • Thirty-two percent liked directions to products in the store

Cisco at NRF 101th Annual Convention & Expo
Visit Cisco Retail at NRF 2012 to experience technology and demonstrations that are “Built for Retail, Built for You.” These solutions enable retailers to meet shoppers’ needs wherever and however they want to shop. Cisco helps retailers transform the customer experience regardless of the channel used, optimize employee productivity to better serve shoppers, and do it all with a high degree of security and lower IT costs.

Demonstrations include:

  • Cisco StyleMe — A proof of concept created by Cisco IBSG that uses the latest augmented reality, mobile, and network technologies to offer shoppers a virtual fashion mirror for “trying on” products virtually. This innovative offering, based on Cisco retail network and collaboration technologies, helps stores increase basket size with an extended range of products and increases conversions with expert and social recommendations, faster try-on, and greater shopping convenience.
  • Cisco Interactive Services for Retail — An outgrowth of Cisco’s digital signage technology, Cisco Interactive Services brings together multiple interactive digital media endpoints to create a consistent user experience across all shopping channels. With this solution, retailers can enhance customer and sales associate interactions with the reach of the network to create innovative, profitable, and powerful ways to engage with customers within a store environment. Digital media endpoints help sales associates become more efficient with promotions, educational videos, concierge services, product finders, and much more.
  • Cisco Architecture Experience Theater — The Cisco Architecture Experience demo takes attendees on a connected retail journey by combining live demonstrations with a multimedia experience. The experience lets retailers see how they can easily and affordably connect and operate multiple retail stores around the world by leveraging Cisco’s intelligent, highly secure, and manageable network. By doing so, they will be able to cut costs, grow revenues, and enhance customer experiences.
  • Cisco Store in a Box — This demo shows how lean retail can help retailers reduce CapEx and OpEx while increasing employee productivity, business agility, and the overall customer experience. It simplifies and speeds new application deployments without more servers.
  • Cisco and Agilence Point-of-Sale Video Auditing — This joint solution allows retailers to reduce shrink at the point-of-sale caused by operational, promotional, and systemic issues, as well as fraud. It combines Agilence Hawkeye with Cisco IP video surveillance cameras and the Cisco UCS™ Express platform, delivering a low-cost solution to a key retail challenge. Agilence’s real-time data analysis and reporting tool is delivered on Cisco’s Cius unit.
  • Cisco Cius™ Tablet for Retail — The Cisco Cius mobile collaborative device in a tablet form-factor enables easier and faster cross-enterprise collaboration, improved selling productivity, and real-time customer collaboration both inside and outside the store. The virtual desktop is made mobile by this portable device that allows retail associates to create, edit, and share content (not just consume it) to support and execute on promotions, programs, and customer interactions.

Cisco executives will be participating in a Big Idea presentation at NRF:

  • Catch ‘Em and Keep ‘Em: Satisfying Today’s Shopper
    Monday, Jan. 16, 4:45-5:15 p.m., Expo Hall, Room 3D05, Lisa Fretwell, Lindsay Parker, and Jon Stine, Cisco

Supporting Quotes:
Lindsay Parker, global retail industry director, Cisco
“Today’s shoppers are merging their online and offline behaviors while shopping, and simultaneously leveraging technology to help them find what they want, when they want and how they want it. Retailers who want to succeed, must offer consumers an immersive shopping experience regardless of channels and consumers technology preference.”

Lisa Fretwell, senior director, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)
“The key for retailers’ survival is to reinvent the store by bringing online content into store and creating engaging, personal, and emotional experiences that encourage shoppers to buy. It’s about capturing shoppers’ ‘feet and fingertips’ right in the store with digital content and experiences. We call it a ‘catch ’em and keep ’em’ strategy, getting both footfall and fingertips from shoppers to drive sales.”


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