Retail giant Coles has been trialling the use of fixed interactive tablet devices in its Southland store in Victoria.
The devices, which are currently in the analgesics section of the store, allow consumers to gain more information on pain relief products, and at the same time provide live data and analytics to the retailer about what customers are looking at.
Tablet devices similar to those being used by Coles, along with electronic labels and facial recognition software are being showcased at a new “retail evolution lab” that opened in Melbourne yesterday.
The lab has been built as part of a partnership between digital signage group AOPEN and retail designer Red Design Group. It also showcases content management tools from Fujitsu and cameras and facial recognition tools designed to track customer interactions from Intel.
Red Design Group managing principal Roy Tavenor said there was a strong business case for retailers such as Coles to deliver data to information-hungry consumers via digital devices.
“You’re not in a pharmacy environment, you don’t have trained staff, so the information is delivered via some form of digital media.”
In future, there will be a convergence of online, in-store and mobile applications to allow retailers to more effectively engage with customers, said Don Fraser, chairman of Red Design Group, and the founding director of Safeway in Australia.
“Customers are desperately looking for information… In-store digital allows customers to self educate with a minimum of staff assistance,” Fraser said.
He added that the information could be delivered via tablet devices, electronic labels, or the customer’s own mobile device.
“Today’s tracking technology enables this one-on-one communication to be measured and monitored,” Fraser said.
Tavenor said the retail evolution lab would be updated regularly, with new technology added over time.
Rather than engage in “future gazing” AOPEN said the concepts displayed in the lab were all commercially available.