Posts Tagged ‘Home Depot’

The cool Mr. J. P. Gownder (@jgownder), Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research hit the spot on his blogg the other day in an article about converting tablets into the ultimate sales tool by integrating Augmented Reality in to the process.

I have for a year been involved in a very similar solution to the one Metaio have developed for Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating. The scope is simply to provide the sales reps from a national brand installing large scale cooling equipment into industrial sites with iPads that in an instant can demonstrate the buyer or other stake holders such as the architect how the ready made solution will look like fitted where it is suppose to be.All by using Augmented Reality.

For the ever growing Home Depot style sector, the technology is the next logical step, for both customer used apps and/or sales rep apps, that in a world of tight margins also can include direct access to daily fresh price lists, CRM etc.   As Mr. Gownder concludes, the gains are several:

  1. A richer customer experience during the sales cycle.
  2. Allayed fears among buyers who worry what the units will look like.
  3. A faster sales cycle, performed on site.
  4. Higher close rates and revenues.
  5. Lower printing costs for sales collateral.

To Mr. Gownders Article

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In the last two years, the number of shops selling products that are currently being digitised has fallen by 13%, to no surprise that includes those selling books, computer games, CDs and DVDs.

Fashion retailing has also been hit hard over the same period, with women’s clothing chain stores down by 13%. At the same time, independent outlets have fallen in number by 6%.

The effect is visible every where. In Sweden large retail chains such as Retail and Brands are taking a hit, and doing so with out any signs of tagging along the trend of its US counter parts.

Forrester sees significant investment from US retailers in this space. Lowes, Home Depot, Nordstrom, and others have all been spending heavily on developing the underlying infrastructures that they can then leverage to create in-store digital experiences. Store Wi-Fi, associate devices like tablets or smartphones, kiosk technology, and even more emerging technologies like ePaper signage and electronic shelf-edge labels are on some agendas.

But European firms are following at a more sedate pace. When Forrester took a look at the expectations of European consumers versus their North American counterparts, it’s interesting to see that European shoppers have significantly higher expectations as to what a digitally enabled store will deliver. Yet almost universally, European retailers are failing to unlock this potential.

Why it is so is still a subject of much speculation, but if your firm doesn’t have plans, then you really should be kick-starting things before it’s too late!

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