What excites you the most about the work you and the team do at inurface?
Working in the way we do at inurface gives the whole team the opportunity to work with global brands and transform their stores into digitally immersive retail hot spots. The rise of e-commerce has meant physical retail has been in decline for the last few years, and COVID-19 really hasn’t helped. Providing innovative, exciting audio visual solutions means we are able to help brands regain their physical presence and once again dominate the high-street – connecting customers and brands in more exciting ways than ever before.
There is absolutely no doubt that the whole team at inurface media is incredibly proud of the work we do, especially when we see a project come to life from the very first meeting to the grand opening of a store!
What have been some of the biggest changes that you have seen in the way that brands have employed audio visual technology over your career?
When we first started in the industry things were making the transition from paper billboards to digital out of home (DOOH) screens and they were the most popular solution on the market – mainly because the rest was yet to come. In the early days only big flagship stores would be the ones with large-scale LED screens and digital displays. Now however, brands are choosing not only to go digital across the whole estate, but to also up the ante by installing cutting edge AV solutions that take the customer experience to a whole new level
There has also been an increase in demand for interactive and personalized experiences, which has been heavily noticed by our sister company and experiential providers We Are Xi. This has resulted in brands increasing the amount of interactive installations across both their physical stores and as pop ups across the globe, as well as installing intelligent technology that can help with merchandising, customer habit forecasting and customer analytics.
It is definitely fair to say brands aren’t just becoming more digital by installing a few screens, they are becoming more digitally savvy by installing technology that can help them understand their customers.
What is it that you like most about working with Scala?
When we work on any project one of the things we pride ourselves on is being reliable, which is why we like working with Scala. Scala has a long, reputable history as a leader in their industry, and are always able to provide us with the most up-to-date technology for our clients. Scala has a flexible platform that is heavily retail focused. When we work with retailers, a key offering we provide is the ability to develop custom solutions which is why working with Scala suits us so well. Not only is the platform brilliant for custom developments and integrations, it is also open to external integrations making it easy to develop and manage content for each of our clients.
Are there any particular projects of which you are especially proud?
We are proud of all of our projects. Each install not only defines us as a business but also helps us constantly improve our offerings and our growth as a company. Over the last year we have been incredibly busy developing lots of new key retail stores such as;
Sports Direct, Oxford Street & Birmingham New Street – In the last 2 years, Sports Direct have opened two new ground breaking flagship stores that we have loved being a part of. The new retail destinations aka digitally immersive, interactive hubs are bursting with interactive experiences, digital technology, audio solutions and innovative analytics. The Oxford Street store alone has the most LED in a retail environment to date and we are incredibly proud to have been a part of its development.
Boohoo Corporate spaces – Our AV Award winning project with Boohoo saw us transform typical corporate office spaces into exciting, multi-use digital hubs for day-to-day office use and for PR events. The offices are both supplied with a mix of large-scale LED, interactive photo-booths, window displays, boardroom screens and audio equipment.
Debenhams Beauty bar – Since Boohoo took ownership of Debenhams after their store closures in 2020, the department store has only been accessible through e-commerce however, they have now ventured back into bricks and mortar with their latest venture alongside Boohoo; Debenhams Beauty Bar. The store has opened in Manchester Arndale with a main focus on beauty retail. The brand has enhanced the digital world, installing a mix of LED screens and an exciting social wall installed by our sister company We Are Xi that displays UGC in store.
Where do you think are the opportunities for brands to use digital solutions in the future?
Whether brands are enhancing their existing digital solutions, or simply installing digital solutions for the first time, a key opportunity is definitely the addition of analytic software and interactive AV solutions. Analytic software is key for any brand – especially retailers, looking to connect with their customers. Analytic software can complement existing digital signage or work well on its own. Analytics have many benefits for the brands employing them such as providing key customer insights, improving marketing ROI, optimizing in-store operations and allowing brands to understand how customers shop and what they actually want to buy.
What do you wish brands knew about digital AV solutions?
When our clients approach us a lot of them are under the illusion that AV solutions are still quite simplistic in terms of how they can look, and complicated in terms of how their content is managed. This really isn’t the case. There is a misconception that the extent of digital signage literally ends at the sign but the possibilities are so much more than that. Our solutions range from simple screens to clever interactive solutions that actually connect brands to their customers. What’s more, there is a whole hidden underframe of analytic technology that enables brands to physically learn about their customers so they can offer informed promotions, send personalized emails and determine the merchandising layout of their store.
What are the future goals for you and inurface?
This year we are focusing on how we can focus on our global growth. Over the last few years we have gradually expanded into areas of Europe, but in the coming year we want to push our global capabilities. Working with our partner brand Xi, we already have a few exciting projects popping up across the globe and we are challenging ourselves to work on as many as we can in the coming year.
We are proud to have acquired We Are Xi – the interactive, experiential arm of the inurface group. As we continue to grow, we are looking to expand our group even further with the acquisition of another brand that will help us increase our offering and venture into other markets that we would love to serve.
We are always looking for ways to enhance our solutions and provide the best possible offerings for our clients. As we move forwards we will strive to continue to develop new technologies that meet our customers’ needs and set them way ahead of their competitors.