Winning over the Webroomer

Andy Candler, managing director at The Creative Engine

The rise of the Webroomer in today’s retail market is a key demographic that retailers cannot afford to ignore.

By 2017, more than 80% of all purchases by revenue are expected to be concluded in a traditional retailer [Forrester Research]. When a Webroomer walks into a store they are at the final stop in their buyer’s journey.

After extensive online research at home, they are entering your store smarter, price savvy (but not price dependent) and instead of fearing technology they are ready to embrace it. But before they seal the deal, they want their Google-search brought to life with some Retail Theatre to reassure them they are buying the right product from the right retailer.

Get that right? And we are finding they can be exceptionally loyal too.

That’s why at The Creative Engine we are helping our customers create Retail Theatre that enhances the Webroomers’ in-store experience. Using Smart technologies we are helping brands and retailers better engage with customers to create an even greater emphasis on personalised and social interaction.

From personalised in-store marketing to instant information when they need it, and self-serve access to products, we are delivering retail solutions to win over a new generation of shopper.

Often the hardest issue to overcome is that many Webroomers now enter stores probably knowing more about the product than your sales staff. It’s no longer good enough to show them a promo video that they’ve already watched at home on YouTube.JLP_On_Device_demo

Instead displays need to be clever; they need to be interactive, intuitive and give customers something they can’t get online. Your sales team need to know more than just the facts in the product brochure. With the right amount of information and interaction, retailers can differentiate their store as one that cares and trigger that all important instant purchase decision.

Our On Device Demos have been the bread and butter of our business since we sold our first one to Lord Alan Sugar back in 1987 for the Amstrad’s PC1512. We have now delivered more than 2,300 projects, running on thousands of screens, in more than 35 languages. For John Lewis we developed a ‘best in class’ PC demo that runs on every computer they sell.

Our software scans the host PC hardware so the demo always displays the correct PC specifications. From there, customers can compare and contrast the full range of PCs with intuitive swipe and tap gestures. But it’s not just the technology that counts: retailers need to get the content they are displaying on devices absolutely right too.

Within the John Lewis demo itself is our ‘Find A Better Computer’ tool – one of our most effective up-sell tools on the market. 65% of shoppers have admitted to being influenced to change their brand choice in store [Forrester Research]. By giving them an interactive Q&A decision tree, customers can independently drill down further into their desired product spec.

Where do you want to use the computer? How do you use the Internet? Will you be using it for games or business? By accessing the right information, a customer who walked in to buy the cheapest processor could be walking out with a high-end one that is better geared towards their needs. They feel confident about their purchase because their in-store experience was tailored to their needs, they learned more and enjoyed the experience.DixonsCarphone_LiftAndLearn_001

Another key desire of the Webroomer is to be able to touch, pick up and play with a product before they buy. Our Lift And Learn Displays use sensors to detect when a product has been picked up and this immediately triggers additional information screens. At Currys PC World flagship store, where Lift And Learn has been trialled, customers are encouraged to lift up a camera, which immediately triggers two large screens.

One screen will display key product information to help them learn about the product. The other becomes fully interactive, allowing the customer to take pictures, test out different styles and see their photos instantly appear on screen. It’s interactive, informative and real – ticking every box for the demanding Webroomer.

With an increasingly plugged-in society, we are also seeing how consumers’ affinity to technology has changed. It’s no longer the great evil. Instead consumers are seeing how sharing their data with retailers is actually enhancing their experience.

How much easier is your online supermarket shop with the ‘past orders’ option? Imagine if you can do that in-store too? Our Beacon technology is an opt-in solution that lets the retailer track shopper paths and change digital displays to reflect a customer’s shopping history or highlight relevant offers as they walk past. The potential to enhance the customer experience in-store is enormous.

But this isn’t the future of shopping, these solutions are here and the Webroomer is expecting them. Retailers need to embrace new point of sale opportunities now to stay ahead of the game.

The author of this blog is Andy Candler, managing director of The Creative Engine, a digital experience company with 30 years in delivering retail solutions.

For more information, visit

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_  OR  @jcIoTnow


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