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Espresso of Innovation: Supermarket Sweep

By Martin Talks, president, digital, Draftfcb UK

Hello and welcome to this week's Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week, we’re going wild in the aisles.

Bricks and motor retail business is under huge pressure and technology sometimes seems to be its enemy. But in fact technology could be offline retail’s saviour. A challenge is to know what technology to invest in when it everything changes so fast. In such circumstances, it is a great help to root oneself in the way consumers make decisions and consider how technology can best be used to persuade them. There are three key principles of persuasive decision interfaces and in each case digital technology can give the offline retailer an edge:
Immediacy - We are all programmed to respond to immediate information. This goes back to our cavepeople days when a rustle in the bushes could be something you could eat or something that might eat you, so immediate information on rewards are highly motivating. As soon as shoppers come in through the door, retailers can start rewarding them with theShopkick app. There is even technology that not only knows you're in a store but where you are in that store. This is very helpful if you're anything like me and can never find those vital pickled onions in a supermarket. It can also act as a powerful recommendation tool andreward you with relevant deals. A similar function whichmaps your fastest route round the store and analyses nutritional information has been integrated into Google Glass and recently Hellman’s in Brazil usedNFC enabled trolleys to suggest recipes and boosted their sales by 68%.

Certainty - For much of human existence, survival has been precarious. If there is a shopping opportunity we are immediately inclined to grab it. That’s why there are so many price comparison schemes being run by supermarkets. Currently they mostly offer money off the next shop, but we don't want “next shop” deals; we want the certainty of now. Step forwardreal-time pricing within physical stores andDynamite Data who pipe competitive pricing information into a POS system to allow staff to negotiate prices.

Tangibility - In this world of "hi-tech", "hi-touch" is vitally important. If you can get consumers to experience products in a tangible way, then that can be highly persuasive. Technology can enhance what is possible even in a physical store. Retailers themselves can be helped by finding out what products consumers are touching, whether they buy them or not, usingsensor technology.
It is clear that in the age of Big Data, no one should ignore the potential of personalising and curating the customer journey. Consumers are not only walking around with a myriad of connected devices, but can also generate data throughthermal and retinal tracking. TheMinority Report scenario may not be so far off. To ensure offline retailers make the most of these opportunities, they should apply the principles of persuasive decision interfaces.