Retailers are increasingly looking to infuse technology into their bricks-and-mortar operations to create more engaging, omnichannel customer experiences.
At Aldo’s “Connected Store” in New York City’s new Westfield World Trade Center, the high-end footwear and accessories retailer has reimagined the location’s 1,200-sf retail space in terms of the customer journey. “This is the beginning of a new personalized experience, one where we continually delight, inspire and even surprise our customer on their shopping journey," said Erwin Hinteregger, Aldo Group CMO, in a press release announcing the store’s opening in August 2016.
Inside the Connected Store
Utilizing advanced research and data about customer shopping patterns, Aldo was intent on delivering a more engaging in-store experience, delivering interactive features and capabilities beyond those of traditional retail outlets.
Customer kiosks from Aila Technologies were the in-store devices chosen for the Connected Store experience. With a sleek design and form factor that complements a refined brand aesthetic, four Aila Interactive Kiosks housed 9.7-inch iPads that were integrated throughout the store. The iOS tablets were loaded with proprietary software that enables customers to check inventory, request sizes to try on, discover new and unique product features, and connect to social media. Shoppers could do more than browse—they could interact and engage with products in new and exciting ways.
Grégoire Baret, Aldo’s senior director of omnichannel experience, noted in a company statement the substantial role that interactive technology can have in enhancing both the sales associate’s capabilities and the customer’s shopping experience. "The in-store digital experience has been conceived as a complementary tool to facilitate product discovery and contextualize full fashion looks, ultimately offering a more meaningful service. Technology should never compete or replace the human aspect, we in turn let it empower our sales associates and help them strengthen their relationships with the customer—it has to become part of their sales ritual to be successful."
Superior Scanning and Imaging Functionality
In addition to their customizable, low-profile design, Aila Technologies’ Interactive Kiosks were a perfect match for the Aldo Connected Store because of their superior scanning capabilities. The Kiosks utilize patent-pending TrueScan™ technology, allowing easy and accurate reading of 1D/2D barcodes in hard-to-reach areas.
This is particularly useful in the footwear industry, where barcodes are often placed inside foot beds, on the soles of shoes, and in other locations that are hard to access with traditional scanning technology. In addition—and key to the role out of a retail location that infuses web-based features into its displays—the Interactive Kiosk is Wi-Fi transparent, ensuring maximum wireless connectivity regardless of placement.