ASK from Scala

Scala technology was on display at the US’s biggest retail trade show of the year, the National Retail Federation’s Big Show 2022, last month as part of the STRATACACHE booth. The teams traveled to New York to demonstrate the ways in which digital solutions can help brands offer a more personalized, relevant and convenient experience to their customers.

I usually start off the new year heading over to the NRF show, checking out what’s new with experiential shopping and retail digital display, and checking in with the US-based marketing, services and retail teams. While I wasn’t able to attend the 2022 show in person, there are some great videos, photos and conversations that came out of the event. Some major themes examine tactical challenges such as lack of labor, keeping up with ecommerce, guided selling, safety, automation, efficiency and supply chain.

Guided Selling with the ASK Fixture

One of the key digital solutions presented at NRF was the Assisted Selling Kiosk, or ASK™ for short. A retail digital display offering personalized experiential shopping, ASK is an enhanced version of the lift and learn digital solution that promotes different forms of guided selling — product lift and learn, informative shelf edge displays, in-store assisted selling as well as remote expert assistance.

Taking the challenges of staffing into account while also amplifying the value of the expertise of team members, ASK allows for product discovery and experiential purchasing without the need for a dedicated sales associate to be located nearby the display or even onsite.

Once a product is selected, the on-screen retail digital display content changes to show the attributes of the product. By selecting a second product, a customer can view information comparing the two products, aiding with selection. A virtual sales associate can also be selected, elevating the experience even further as customers can discuss their queries with a live product expert who could be located at a remote location or another store premises or headquarters. This expert can listen to the specific concerns of the customer and through a live feed and speakers, share their recommendations and offer advice. This information can also be sent via email or text to the customer for their future reference. At NRF, we demonstrated this guided selling solution with the oh so important decision of choosing the perfect wine. Confused about what to serve with roast chicken or lamb? Guided selling through the ASK solution ensures the purchasing experience is positive. Experiential shopping at its finest.

The lift and learn solution works well for brands such as Kiehl’s , and ASK builds upon the technology and experience, offering brands the ability to make a deeper connection with customers and reinforce the expertise that they hold in their sector. Using retail digital display and signage to create an interactive moment of retail theater means that a wide range of customers can be served. Information can be shown in a variety of languages, useful in tourist-heavy locations that are frequented by people from a variety of countries such as London, Paris or Amsterdam or in travel hubs such as airports. Similarly, the remote expert can be selected based on the language that they speak or their specific area of expertise.

In addition to offering customers a unique experiential shopping trip, where they can learn more about the products and store brand, ASK gives brands an opportunity for customer data collection as analytics on the products picked up and compared, the information requested and the anonymous data of the customers interacting with the kiosk all collated. Experiential shopping solutions such as ASK not only give customers a convenient way to explore a product range and access expert insight but also aids brands in learning more about their customers’ needs. By analyzing the products that are explored or the questions asked by a customer, brands achieve a powerful look at what motivates their customers – their interests, gaps in their product knowledge and what solutions they are looking for.

ASK was just one of the solutions, available through Scala, that was shown at NRF this year Other solutions that were exhibited included Walkbase TREQ as well as many solutions that would suit a variety of retail and QSR brands.

It’s important to note that the experiences and solutions in the booth were a collaborative effort. home grown and fully operational with our own products. Everything was conceptualized, researched, created and executed in-house by our team. Kudos to the US team for a show well done! Additionally, as a global brand, we collaborate globally as well, and our EMEA-based team pitched in directly on the guided selling and ASK. The NRF solutions ran on Scala digital signage software, which can handle delivery at scale. Even much of the hardware used is STRATACACHE’s own — digital media players, Walkbase sensors, LINQ tablets and shelf edge displays.

To find out more about the solutions that we shared at NRF and how they could benefit your business, please get in touch with a member of our team. You can also see Scala technology in action at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) this May and also at EuroCIS.

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