Retail Lives On

It’s telling that Amazon, the online behemoth, just bough Whole Foods and feels a need to offer its Kindle reader in-store.  Children’s books and toys are still primarily purchased offline. Similarly, many online purchases originate with a visit to a retailer to sample, touch or demo a product.  Many online orders may be picked up at a local retail outlet and if same-day delivery ever becomes a reality, it may well favor multi-store merchandisers such as Walmart, who can use their 4000+ retail locations as distribution centers. Retail lives and so do the opportunities at retail to use self-playing media to engage, educate and move prospective customers along the path-to-purchase.

The Importance Of Demonstration

In an age where most products are shrink-wrapped and safety sealed it becomes increasingly difficult to get a first-hand experience of goods before the purchase.  If the product is audio-based, such as music, video or a talking child’s product, the “Try Me” button is extremely effective. More and more consumer products include an electronic interface and complex features that may overwhelm a prospective buyer, more than entice them. More products have celebrity spokespeople whose assurance of quality and benefits may make the difference between window shopping and a purchase.  In all of these cases, a self-playing media message, whether in point of sale displays or built into the packaging, can be critical.

Examples Of Self-Playing Media In Point of Sale Displays

Build-A-Bear Point of Sale Displays

Build-A-Bear’s Universal Sound

We worked with Build-A-Bear to develop the universal sound chip for a new self-service point of sale kiosk located near the entrance of their retail storefronts. The objective of the project was to increase the attachment rate of sounds to stuffed animals. Using the kiosk, guests are able to scan the unique barcode attached to their furry friend and get sound recommendations, including the ability to record their own sounds. The kiosk has been very successful and sales of the universal sound chips at participating locations have seen double-digit increases.

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Mood Entertainment Point of Sale Displays

Audio Sampling For Mood Entertainment

We were approached by Mood Entertainment (formerly Somerset Entertainment), the largest provider of specialty music sold through nontraditional retailers, to provide a low-cost solution to replace their proprietary interactive point of sale displays that the company was currently using in retail environments. We worked closely with them through a number of challenges to develop a highly successful self-playing media unit to ship with their point of sale display cases.

Read the case study.

Self-Playing Media Saves Space

The ultimate metrics of retail is sales/square foot, so shelf and floor space are understandably precious. A sampling point of sale display which requires the prospective sample-taker to push a button and listen to a message before dispensing with a sample, takes minimal shelf space and provides the same basic function as a hired sales hand with a table full of samples.

Self-Playing Media Can Be Self-Serviced

One of the attractions of retail is the potential for service and one of it’s distractions is lack of service or lines and delays in service. The addition of self-playing media at retail locations empowers the consumer to learn about the product on a self-serve basis. Products such as those found in the photo and gift departments can be personalized and embellished by the purchaser with a custom voice or video message using a self-playing media powered point of sale kiosk. This can save the gift-giver and memory-maker precious time in creating a personal gift or memento while enhancing the final offer for the retailer.

QR Codes and User Generated Content

Starbucks has successfully launched a QR code smart-phone app where loyalty card customers can pay for their purchase simply by having the barista scan a QR code displayed on their smart-phone screen. The point-of-purchase code replaces the need to carry and swipe a loyalty card and, like the loyalty card, it captures all sorts of interesting purchasing data. Similarly, airlines now offer QR code mobile phone apps for boarding pass check-in.

Self-Playing Media Drives Traffic To Retailers

As more and more products are media-enabled via user generated content, there will be a growing desire on the part of consumers to use smart phone apps to pick up their user generated media enhanced products at retail locations. Imagine creating a unique audio message or music file on a popular app such as Sing! Karaoke by Smule and then scanning a QR code on your phone at an in-store kiosk to create a unique musical gift. The desire to consume customized and user designed media products will certainly be a powerful tool to drive traffic to participating retailers.

How Voice Express Can Help

We have had over 15 years of experience incorporating self-playing media into retail. From traditional self-playing media product development to self-service point of sale displays and kiosks using our proprietary wireless technology, we have self-playing media covered. Are you ready to incorporate self-playing media into your retail offerings? Let’s talk.

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