The expression, “Retail is Detail” has long existed. As digital becomes integrated into the retail experience, what is being termed as “digitail,” the notion of detail in digitail takes on a whole other scope and, potentially, level of importance. We (and consumers in general) have come to decode certain messages from the way product is displayed IRL (“in real life”). A messy pile implies a discount. No price = too expensive. Behind a counter = Do not touch (or don’t play with it). Meanwhile, for the most part, retail merchandising is having to compete against the online world. Ideally, as consumers come to expect an omnipresent sales experience (“omni-channel”), retailers should be playing with – as opposed to against — digital and the online space. Some companies are beginning to experiment with digital and having eCommerce directly available instore. Digitail still in its embryonic stages. L2 did a study in New York and Chicago and found that only 4 of the 71 stores it surveyed were doing a “baseline” level of digital integration.
Enhancing the consumer journey
Putting digital into the retail experience is a fine idea as long as (a) it enhances the customer journey, (b) it serves a purpose or business objective, and (c) it works. You would think that (c) would go without saying. However, even some large brands seemingly have missed this point. It speaks to the fact that digital is viewed either as glitzy gadget and/or management doesn’t see fit to check it. In the “old” days, management did store checks and verified product display, pricing and placement. Somehow, management’s eye has not been trained to review digital displays with the same level of acuity. I hardly intended for this to be a rant against Levi’s, but it’s funny that the first two examples come from the same brand in two different countries. Coincidence?
Here are a couple of visible examples of digital errors in retail.
Levi’s in Paris (Champs Elysées)
As you walk by the store (west to east), you see a large screen on the wall with video.
Upon closer inspection on the bottom right, you can see that the Windows pop up message is visible for all to see. Would that it were transparency on the source or some form of customer engagement!
Levi’s in London (SoHo)
Same type of problem, but different corner in a different store in a different country! This Levi’s store has multiple screens embedded within the store. I note that the look & feel of this Levi’s store is entirely different from the one in Paris.
Retail is Detail – Digitail is even more detail
As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail. In a luxury environment, the need (or the sin) is even greater. As companies attempt to bring digital into the workspace, the human component remains essential. In these particular cases, it’s about training the management and staff to notice the errors and, more importantly, to know how to fix them quickly!